Interim train timetable 'no better' for Welwyn Garden City than previous one, say rail campaigners

PUBLISHED: 11:40 09 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:54 09 July 2018

There are currently Great Northern train delays affecting Welwyn Garden City.

There are currently Great Northern train delays affecting Welwyn Garden City.

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Welwyn Garden City's rail user group has said that aspects of Govia's new interim timetable are 'an insult'.

Set to be rolled out on Sunday, July 15, Govia says its new timetable is “designed to provide a more reliable service” following the chaos caused by the introduction of the May timetable.

Chief operating officer of Govia Nick Brown claimed that the new timetable should offer “a more robust and reliable service”.

Yet Liberal Democrat councillor and spokesperson for the rail user group Malcolm Cowan said that the new timetable “is no better than the current one that is failing so badly”.

He pointed out that there is a two and a half hour gap between trains from Kings Cross between 9.21 am and 11.51, calling it “an insult”.

“There is also a 90 minute gap in the evening, and a 90 minute gap going into London just after lunch.

“Yet again, none of the faster Govia trains that rush through are being called in to stop, when there must clearly be spare track capacity given the number of trains not running.

He also pointed out that Saturday services are running at 50 per cent.

“We are becoming a Cinderella service despite the sky high fares. Maybe we should have a 50 per cent fares cut.

“And all this assumes Govia can actually do what they promise – does anyone have confidence in that?

“After all, the spring edition of their magazine Connections has the banner headline ‘The Golden Age starts in May’. Candidate for quote of the year?”

In the announcement, Mr Brown also encouraged passengers to seek compensation for previous disruption.

Govia is working on a special compensation package that will entitle qualifying affected passengers to a refund equivalent to the cost of one or four weeks’ travel, but this has not yet been launched.

For more information on the new timetable see www.greatnorthernrail.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/timetables.

For details of delay repay, visit www.thameslinkrailway.com/help-and-support/journey-problems/delay-repay.

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