Royston & Villages Rail Users Group meets with rail operator Govia Thameslink over revised timetable

PUBLISHED: 08:48 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:48 18 August 2017

Edward Carder founded the Royston & Villages Rail Users Group and launched a petition against the rail timetable changes proposed by Govia.

Edward Carder founded the Royston & Villages Rail Users Group and launched a petition against the rail timetable changes proposed by Govia.

Archant

Members of the newly-formed Royston & Villages Rail Users Group met with officials from Great Northern operator Govia Thameslink last week for a meeting regarding proposed timetable changes from 2018.

New Class 387 in service on Great NorthernNew Class 387 in service on Great Northern

The group was founded by Dr Edward Carder from Royston, who launched a petition in a bid to make Govia reconsider proposals which would see off-peak fast trains scrapped, evening off-peak services after 7.12pm running fast to Cambridge, and increased journey times for commuters.

A public consultation closed on July 27, but Dr Carder’s petition has now amassed more than 600 signatures – and the number continues to rise.

Dr Carder, a solicitor in London, attended the meeting at County Hall with group member John Moore from South Cambs in Hertford on Wednesday last week.

Afterwards, he told the Crow: “The meeting was constructive and Govia seemed open-minded and willing to work with us as the newly formed Royston Rail Users Group.

“The outcome of the meeting was that Govia has given a firm commitment to restore the evening fast service from King’s Cross to Royston at the current level – through to the last fast train at 23:42.”

Edward said the Govia representatives were willing to work with the group to deal with the morning seating capacity problem, as under the new proposals trains would no longer start at Royston meaning commuters boarding there are less likely to get a seat.

He said: “They have gone away to develop some proposals and will share those with us and then would like to meet with us to finalise proposals in September.

“The community deserves a pat on the back for making their voices heard.

“We have got lots of wonderful comments on Facebook not just from Royston and villages, but from Cambourne and further north from people who choose to go to Royston station instead of Cambridge because of the congestion.

“We will be posting updates on our page when we have them and will answer questions people put to us about our progress.”

A spokesman for Govia said: “We had a very constructive meeting with the rail user group as well as Herts County Council and other groups, and were delighted to find a way to accommodate some of their key concerns.

“This whole consultation process has been designed to share our plans and to listen to the views of the communities that we serve.

“We will always do whatever we can to address concerns wherever possible, bearing in mind our duty to improve the rail service for the benefit of the majority.”

For the petition see www.change.org/p/great-northern-govia-keep-the-evening-fast-trains-to-royston-and-letchworth-after-19-12 and for the rail users group search Royston & Villages Rail Users Group on Facebook.

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