Whitton residents join calls for South Western Railway to reverse cuts to rush hour services

Hundreds of commuters have signed a petition against cuts to rush hour train services at Whitton station.

More than 600 people have already put their names to the petition to stop the changes, which will halve the number of peak-time fast trains to London Waterloo.

From December 2018, the 7:30am, 8:00am and 8:30am trains will not run, reducing the number of trains making the journey between 7.30am – 9.00am from six to three.

Liberal Democrat councillor Liz Jaeger, who was involved in the petitioning at Whitton Station last night, accused South Western Railway of being “opaque” in alerting people to the changes.

She said: “If you go to the South Western Railway website, look at the consultation, it is not at all apparent what’s going on in Whitton.

“They don’t trumpet these changes.”

The cuts mean that the remaining fast trains will be much busier in the morning peak period. The alternative slow trains take 41 minutes, compared to 30 minutes on the fast trains.

South Western Railway have had a consultation open since 29 September, but Caroline McCarthy, Crane Way, started the petition after hearing about the changes on Facebook this week – just days before the consultation ends on Friday.

She said: “I think it’s very important for Whitton to retain those fast services, I think there could be impacts on property prices, and obviously its very useful for the community to have the connection.

“I want South Western Railway to maintain either the existing fast services or replace them with an equal number.”

South Western Railway plan to introduce ten new services an hour – but no fast trains to replace the ones that will be cut.

Just two of the new services only go as far as the next stop – Twickenham – and the changeover time onto a fast train is only three minutes, meaning older or less agile passengers may miss their connection.

A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “In the current proposals, Whitton gains more services in the morning and in the evening peaks with more direct services.

“We have registered feedback from Whitton station users including requests for us to review the plans for the service there and we will ensure these are all taken into account.”

As part of the consultation, South Western Railway has invited people to email [email protected] with their feedback on the plans.

Related Articles