Com­muter’s fury as timetable changes force him to take ear­lier train

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

A FU­RI­OUS com­muter has writ­ten a let­ter to the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Chiltern Rail­ways blast­ing the rail com­pany for its ser­vice from Ger­rards Cross to Lon­don.

In a let­ter to Dave Pen­ney, Rob Bar­ber, of Mill Lane, Chal­font St Giles, ques­tions whether the thoughts of com­muters were con­sid­ered be­fore changes were made to the line last year.

He wrote: “I wrote to Chiltern Rail­ways the week be­fore the timetable changes that came into ef­fect in Oc­to­ber, pre­dict­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion from Ger­rards Cross com­muters.

“If I could have fore­seen this fol­low­ing five min­utes com­par­ing the new to old timeta­bles, I ques­tion whether you made th­ese changes know­ing, but not car­ing that we would be ag­grieved, or whether this was an out­come you had not an­tic­i­pated? I am un­sure which of th­ese is worse.”

Ac­cord­ing to the rail com­pany, the changes were brought about be­cause of the open­ing of Bices­ter Vil­lage sta­tion and a new line from Ox­ford Park­way to Lon­don Maryle­bone, which opened on Oc­to­ber 26.

Mr Bar­ber cal­cu­lates that he now loses 120 hours of fam­ily time over a year, as he is forced to take an ear­lier train in the morn­ing.

Along with the Ad­ver­tiser/Ex­am­iner, Mr Bar­ber, also sent a copy of his let­ters to MPs for the area. He wrote: “I be­lieve they would also be in­ter­ested to know the an­swer to the fol­low­ing ques­tions and you may be more in­clined to pro­vide defini­tive an­swers to them than you have been to your down-trod­den com­muters.”

His let­ter asks why there are fewer trains and car­riages in the morn­ing and ar­gues that the ser­vice has be­come less re­li­able with more cancellations and late trains.

Last week com­muters handed out fly­ers in a cam­paign against Chiltern Rail­ways, ask­ing if com­muters were happy with the re­vised Chiltern Rail­ways timetable.

On Twit­ter Ger­rard­sXCom­muters posted a pic­ture of the leaflets.

They said: “We are a small group whose aims are to col­late in­put from Ger­rards Cross com­muters and to work col­lab­o­ra­tively with Chiltern Rail to try and im­prove our ser­vices.

“Peak hour ser­vices are now in­suf­fi­cient in num­ber and ca­pac­ity and the in­ter­vals be­tween ser­vices are too reg­u­lar.”

But com­muters may not have to wait much longer af­ter a Tweet on Thurs­day Fe­bru­ary 4 read: “Very pos­i­tive meet­ing with @ chiltern­rail­way to­day about changes in May for GX timetable & a num­ber of other im­prove­ments. More to fol­low.”

Mr Pen­ney said: “We con­tinue to lis­ten to the feed­back from cus­tomers who are un­happy with the ser­vice.

“Get­ting the ser­vice back to the level our cus­tomers are used to is my key pri­or­ity.”

Peak hour ser­vices are now in­suf­fi­cient in num­ber and ca­pac­ity

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