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Guildford MP raises concerns over rail service

3 minute read
Guildford MP raises concerns over rail service

Published at 1:47pm 7th February 2018. (Updated at 1:52pm 7th February 2018)

A local MP vows to improve rail services in our area - as a survey finds overall satisfaction levels have dropped.

Guildford MP Anne Milton was speaking after meeting South Western Railway's Managing Director last week to discuss concerns raised by constituents.

Issues she raised with Andy Mellors included delays and a lack of seating - both of which were down in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey.

The findings showed a decline overall of 7% in Autumn 2016 to Autumn 2017 compared to the year before.

Mrs Milton said: "Since the new franchise came in, there has been a feeling that a great more could be done to improve customer experiences.

"Many of my constituents have raised concerns about their experiences with South Western Railway, and it was good to be able to raise these issues face to face.

"I hope to see significant progress soon and will be watching developments closely. I will not stop the fight for better train services for Guildford - real change is long overdue!

Anne Milton

Mr Mellors said the operator was committed to improving the service - citing the following upgrades:

  • 100 more carriages have been added to some of the busiest routes since December, made possible by the longer platforms now in place after the Waterloo upgrade last August..
  • Some trains have been lengthened to 10 or 12 carriages.
  • By the end of the year, the former Waterloo International Terminal will reopen for domestic use. By December 2020, SWR will add 52,000 extra seats in to or out of Waterloo at peak times.
  • New half-hourly Guildford - Farnham services are being proposed as part of the December 2018 timetable consultation.
  • A £45m refurbishment and retractioning of 18 Class 442 electric multiple-units for use on fast London Waterloo - Portsmouth services, from December 2018.
  • The December timetable will also see an increase to 4 direct trains per hour from Portsmouth to Waterloo.
  • A £50m refurbishment to the existing 172-strong Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro fleet of trains is underway, resulting in additional Standard class seating.
  • 90 new state of the art Aventra trains (or 750 new carriages) will be introduced by the end of 2019 at a cost of £895M, to deliver significant capacity increase at peak times into and out of London and improve the customer experience for passengers.

Mr Mellors said: "It was good to meet Anne and listen to constituents' concerns. We know we have much to do but we have exciting plans in terms of new trains and increased capacity and are working hard with our partners Network Rail to improve performance."

Mrs Milton said she encourages constituents to get in touch if they have any concerns.

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