Leighton Buzzard’s MP has vowed to keep a close eye on the Southern Railway after the operator reinstated a number of its services today (Monday).
A temporary weekday timetable was introduced on July 11 to reduce the impact on passengers and staff of unpredictable and late notice cancellations caused daily by unprecedented levels of train crew sickness.
On Tuesday, Southern customers received some much-needed good news with the announcement that the train operator was reinstateing 119 train services back into its timetable from Monday (September 5).
South West Beds MP Andrew Selous has welcomed the increase in services on the West London line running through Leighton Buzzard from 8 train services to 26.
Mr Selous said: “It has been a very difficult time for commuters and other train travellers who need to use these train services and I pleased to see this restoration.
“I will continue to watch Southern very closely to press them to restore a full and reliable service”.
Southern says that over a third of the 341 trains cancelled on July 11 have now resumed
And it has also confirmed that it will bring back the remaining train services to its timetable incrementally in the coming weeks.
Spokesman Charles Horton said: “We know how difficult life has been for our passengers recently and we are sincerely sorry.
“Our aim has been to bring back as much of the timetable as quickly as we could and for several weeks we’ve had 5th September as our target to begin the reinstatement of trains.
“We’re pleased that we can restore a large chunk of our train timetable for our passengers on this date but we will not be satisfied until the full timetable is running, and running in a punctual way people can rely on.
“The updated timetable will allow us to run a more comprehensive rush hour service with virtually a full peak service at London Bridge and 95% of peak train capacity at Victoria. We will continue to add services incrementally and we are aiming at restoring the full timetable in the coming weeks.
London Midland says, despite the extra services, it will continue to accept ‘Southern only’ and ‘via Kensington Olympia’ tickets on its trains between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central.
The extra stops added to some London Midland services to reduce gaps in the timetable between certain stations will also remain in place.
Steve Helfet, London Midland’s head of West Coast Services, said: “The re-instated Southern services is good news for all our passengers. However trains will still be busy so we will continue to do all we can to make journeys as simple as possible for those who regularly use Southern and for our existing passengers.
“It is still important to plan journeys in advance and to leave enough time to reach your destination.