Munira Wilson MP has criticised South Western Railway (SWR) for slashing services to the already underserved Shepperton branch, which is a crucial line for local residents living in Hampton and Fulwell.
Prior to this decision, Munira has regularly raised with both SWR and ministers the plight of passengers using the Shepperton line, where services are already infrequent and regularly subject to cancellation.
In response to the sudden changes which will make life a misery for thousands of passengers in the local area, Munira said: “I am appalled by SWR’s decision to reduce services on the Shepperton line.
“Local residents who use Hampton and Fulwell stations are already forced to pay staggeringly high fares for what has been a consistently substandard service.
“I told the Government that if there were more cuts to the Shepperton line, “there would not be a service left”.
“When I raised this in Parliament last year, it was a hypothetical scenario. It is sad to see that SWR is now making this a reality.
“This decision is an affront to key workers, students and local businesses who depend on these crucial services on a regular basis, even whilst working from home guidance is in place.
“Not only has there been no consultation, we have no idea when this “temporary” timetable will end. We already know that SWR is trying to make pandemic level services permanent on the Hounslow loop line.
“It would be disastrous if the same were to happen to the Shepperton line.
“I, together with Leader of Richmond Council and Hampton councillor, Gareth Roberts, have written to Claire Mann, Managing Director at SWR, to urge her in the strongest possible terms to reverse the decision.
“We are seeking an urgent meeting and will keep local residents updated.
“We are in the midst of a climate and economic crisis. This is not the time to be cutting public transport services and giving the green light to more car travel in and around London.
“One train per hour at peak times direct to Waterloo is simply unacceptable for a busy suburban London railway station.
“SWR must rethink this terrible decision and publish in full the evidence they have for justifying such a slash to services.”
The letter can be found here: https://twitter.com/munirawilson/status/1482041818338451456?s=20.