Sudbury’s Liberal Democrat councillors have welcomed the fact that Transport for London has expressed support for improved services at Sudbury’s two stations.
In response to a question from London Assembly Liberal Democrat Leader Caroline Pidgeon, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he would write a letter to Chiltern Railways expressing his concerns about the reduction in service at Sudbury and Harrow Road Station and Sudbury Hill, Harrow.
Sudbury Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Lorber, who has consistently campaigned for improved rail services for local residents, said:
We need a bit more from the Mayor of London that writing a letter. More frequent trains would make the service from Sudbury to Marylebone much more attractive for local commuters and leisure users alike.
The Managing Director of Chiltern Railways has told me that he doesn’t believe the political will exists to provide improved services at Sudbury’s station. We need a more sustained commitment by the Mayor of London and Transport for London to prove otherwise.
Cllr Paul Lorber and fellow Sudbury councillor Chandubhai Patel are angry that the previous Labour Government extended the Chiltern Franchise beyond 2020 without obtaining guarantees for a better service for Sudbury passengers.
Caroline Pidgeon’s question was (Sudbury rail services, Question No: 1828 / 2012):
Caroline Pidgeon: Chiltern Railways are proposing to reduce the number of services that stop at Sudbury station. What representations will you make to Chiltern Railways to ensure that this group of Londoners do not lose their rail services?
Written response from the Mayor: I am very frustrated that a further reduction in service frequency is proposed for the December 2012 timetable change at Sudbury station. While the introduction of a clock-face timetable has some benefits, the reduced frequencies in London that result are unacceptable.
For over two years TfL, alongside MPs, boroughs, London TravelWatch and users groups, has been pressing for improvements and put detailed proposals for enhancements to Chiltern Railways and Network Rail as recently as March 2012. Disappointingly, Chiltern and Network Rail have said they are unable to implement any frequency improvements at these stations because this would risk affecting the performance of their services.
This is an unacceptable situation and I will be writing to Chiltern Railways to voice my concerns about the continuing degradation of services.