The consultation was not well publicised and was difficult to interpret.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the honour South Western Railway (SWR) has proposed permanent cuts to local rail services. The changes will impact many stations across the constituency, with the majority seeing service reductions. With the Hounslow loop not being reinstated, services from St Margarets and Whitton to Waterloo would be halved during off-peak times – the most significant cut. However, Teddington and Hampton Wick, Strawberry Hill and Teddington will also lose peak services, which is a particular worry with the threat of overcrowding.
Over the past few weeks, Munira Wilson has led a campaign to fight these cuts. She has expressed her dismay at the timing of a consultation which closed on 19th September. Launched over the summer when many people were away, the consultation was not well publicised and was difficult to interpret.
Munira met with SWR and Network Rail management and sought clarity on the proposed changes. Following the meeting, Munira launched an information campaign to highlight the station-by-station impact of the cuts. She gathered over 100 written responses from constituents, with the overwhelming majority against the changes.
Local people were clear that it was the wrong time to make permanent service reductions, which would cause overcrowding and greater congestion on the roads. With your views in hand, Munira formally responded to the consultation setting out residents’ objections.
Munira said: “Of course, commuter patterns will change as a result of the pandemic, but it is far too soon to make decisions about permanent service reductions to be implemented in December 2022. I urged SWR to delay any decisions until travel patterns settle down as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Munira also challenged Claire Mann, SWR Managing Director when she appeared before the All-Party Parliamentary Group on SWR.
When questioned, Ms Mann revealed that SWR were being forced to reduce services due to their contract with the Department for Transport.
In Parliament, Munira urged the Transport Minister to intervene and stop the proposed cuts. There was some suggestion that the Minister would consider rejecting the proposals following the consultation. Munira has now requested a meeting with the Minister to demand direct Government intervention.
Munira said: “I will continue to put pressure on the Government and SWR to stop these cuts and save our train services – they are vital for our local and London-wide economy, as well as for our environment”.
For more information about the proposed cuts, visit SWR’s website: southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/timetables/timetable-consultation-december-2022
Get in touch with Munira by email on: email@example.com
If you would like to get in touch by phone, call 020 8977 0606 for her constituency office; or 020 7219 6474 for her parliamentary office.
Munira Wilson, MP
Call 020 8977 0606 for her constituency office; or 020 7219 6474 for her parliamentary office