Fears that more train services will be cut
MEMBERS of the Ashwell and Morden Rail User Group fear that more of their services into London will be cut amid the release of a new draft timetable. First Capital Connect (FCC) have revealed their 2007 draft, which has left commuters concerned that thei
MEMBERS of the Ashwell and Morden Rail User Group fear that more of their services into London will be cut amid the release of a new draft timetable.
First Capital Connect (FCC) have revealed their 2007 draft, which has left commuters concerned that their route to Kings Cross will again be disrupted.
Carolan Davidge of the user group said: "The timetable, which is proposed to start in December, shows significant deterioration in the services from Ashwell and Morden as well as Letchworth and Baldock.
"It looks as if First Capital Connect plan to cut a fifth of the morning commuter trains and Ashwell and Morden's 10 morning trains will be reduced to eight."
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In December 2006 commuters lost services into King's Cross, despite a hard fought campaign involving a variety of protests and a 1,500 strong petition.
Sarah Duckett who was involved with the campaign said: "The proposed changes are astonishing. FCC keep telling us that they are tackling over-crowding issues on the trains, but how will cutting services and carriages do that?
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"We need more trains not less. Is this really tackling over-crowding or is FCC just reducing their costs to increase their profits?
She added: "This degradation of our service is wholly unacceptable. We demand that FCC not only retains our level of service but puts more trains on the tracks."
A spokesperson for FCC denied that the company was trying to reduce costs and reiterated their desire to solve overcrowding issues.
He said: "We have consulted with the user group on draft proposals for improving the timetable on the routes from King's Cross to Cambridge and Peterborough to ease overcrowding.
"The draft timetable provided to the user group was just a draft. We have told them we will consult with them further.
"We are not cutting trains; in fact the timetable proposals will include more train services in the peaks when they are needed. We are however changing the calling patterns to make sure that we don't exacerbate overcrowding on the most heavily used services.
"The whole thrust of our proposals are to ease the current levels of crowding in the peaks and improve the quality of service. We have planned to meet the user group and I hope that we can demonstrate that the changes being proposed will benefit the majority of customers on the route."
- FCC is holding an on-line forum for customers to give their feedback and ask questions of the directors. The forum will take place from 9am-11am on Friday January 26. If you would like to take part visit www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk