Welwyn Garden City rail passengers stranded after cancellation of replacement buses
PUBLISHED: 12:19 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:39 24 July 2018
Welwyn Garden City passengers suffered cancellations yesterday evening after Govia Thameslink said its rail replacement buses are “no longer needed”.
Since Sunday, July 22, Govia Thameslink has phased out the buses it previously had at the ready to pick up the slack when a train is cancelled.
The buses had been there following the chaos of the May 20 timetable, but on July 15 the company launched a new interim timetable.
A spokesperson for Govia Thameslink said: “The new interim timetable is running well and rail replacement buses are no longer needed.
“If there is further serious disruption caused [...] we will organise buses and, if necessary, taxis to help passengers complete their journeys.”
Official figures show that since the new interim timetable came in, 91 per cent of rush hour trains to London King’s Cross have run.
However, on Tuesday evening, an overhead line issue at Cambridge caused numerous cancellations and delays at all stations on the line to King’s Cross.
Maintenance of overhead lines is Network Rail’s responsibility.
At 7.10pm, platform staff announced that passengers were facing a nearly two hour wait for any train towards Cambridge, prompting several passengers to pool their resources to get home by taxi instead.
Following this, it was announced a train would come at around 7.50pm.
Twitter users, responding to Great Northern, responded with dismay at last-minute mid-journey changes.
One rail user at Welwyn Garden City said: “I had been hoping to get the 7.26, but after it was cancelled I just couldn’t bear the wait and the constant uncertainty.
“I think Govia should have a replacement service until Network Rail can get their act together and the proper new timetable is in place.”
Great Northern tweeted an apology for the delays today, saying the company is “really sorry.”