Rail protest increases pressure

PUBLISHED: 10:04 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010

Some of the protestors handiwork

Some of the protestors handiwork

COMMUTERS from Ashwell and Morden station increased their protests against a rail company by invading a neighbouring stations car park. The protests stem from First Capital Connect decision to cut their 7.03 fast service to Kings Cross, which came into e

COMMUTERS from Ashwell and Morden station increased their protests against a rail company by invading a neighbouring stations car park.

The protests stem from First Capital Connect decision to cut their 7.03 fast service to Kings Cross, which came into effect on Monday.

Upping the ante commuters, who have been forced to drive to Letchworth Station to catch their preferred train, filled car park spaces with their own cars leaving commuters from Letchworth nowhere to park.

Protesters apologised but feel that FCC officials have left them with no alternative.

One Ashwell commuter, Tim Giles said: "We sincerely apologise to Letchworth commuters for what we did but First Capital Connect have left us no choice. Many of us need to catch a fast train to London and the only way to do that now is to drive to Letchworth every day."

Commuters placed signs on their car windscreens that read 'We don't want to be here. Help save our fast trains'.

Members of the protest also gave out leaflets explaining why they were there and asked for their support.

Mr Giles added: "At a time when 'green issues' are right at the top of the country's concerns, it's ludicrous that we have to drive away from our local stations and come to Letchworth, causing unnecessary pollution and congestion. We often hear talk of a joined-up transport policy but here's a real example of a very untogether one."

Talking about the start of the new timetable, commuter Chris Hunt told The Crow: "I was on the train on Monday morning and it appears that FCCs attempt to deal with overcrowding from Ashwell and Baldock has backfired in a big way.

"The train was just as overcrowded, with people standing in the isles and entrance doorways. The train was as crowded as ever and it will continue to be so - this is not the solution.

"In addition the mood was particularly poor given that a large number of commuters had to drive to Letchworth in order to catch the train. There was a lot of frustration."

- The protest took place on the first day of the new timetable. The 6.45 from Cambridge, which used to stop at both Ashwell and Morden and Baldock now runs straight through from Royston to Letchworth. More cuts to the fast train service are planned for 2007.

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