The goalposts have been changed in the South West Railway SWR timetable consultation. As you may know already, SWR launched a consultation on the train timetable in late September. However, in response to negative feedback they have revised their proposals.
These new proposals are still unacceptable. Sorry to say this, but even if you have already responded to the first proposals, please respond to these new proposals. Please use the download below to respond to consultation by 22 December 2017. Feedback can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Impact of South West Railway SWR timetable consultation
The current line to London is already running beyond capacity, and these changes represent a reduction in service at peak hours which cannot be a good idea.
In summary the changes proposed are:
- Retains the same number of services from Hook and Winchfield to London, however, many of these services now no longer stop at Fleet and Farnborough
- Keeps the same number of Fleet to London services as now
- The new proposals result in slightly faster services to London
The impact of these changes will be:
- School children and students attending Farnborough Sixth form, Salesian and Farnborough Hill will now have far fewer services to choose from to get from Hook/Winchfield to Farnborough.
- This is likely to lead to both over-crowded trains and increased car journeys, leading to more pollution and congestion
- No effective increase in capacity from Fleet, Winchfield and Hook to London, even though services are already over-crowded.
Alternative approach to SWR timetable consultation
Thousands of houses have either already been given permission or are proposed in Hart’s Local Plan. These include around 500 dwellings at Sun Park, 1,500 Hartland Village, and 420+ at Grove Farm all near to Fleet station. Moreover, 550 houses are currently being built in NE Hook and 1,800 dwellings are proposed at Murrell Green, both close to both Hook and Winchfield stations. Many hundreds more dwellings are being considered on brownfield sites in Hook. It does seem rather odd that SWR are not proposing to dramatically increase services just at the time when demand is going to increase. I would suggest the following alternative plan:
- Ensure that many more of the Hook/Winchfield services stop at Fleet/Farnborough to help our kids get to school
- Increase services from Fleet to London
- Increase capacity by running more 12-car trains on the whole line at peak times
- Reduce the number of first class carriages on 8 and 12-car trains to further increase passenger capacity