MP concerned over increased journey times on the Fen Line through Downham Market, Littleport, Ely and Cambridge into London
PUBLISHED: 13:05 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:05 24 July 2017
MP Liz Truss says she remains concerned about changes to the Kings Lynn to London service through Littleport, Ely and Cambridge that could extend journey times.
Ms Truss, the MP the SW Norfolk, said she hopes as many as possible remembered to make their views known during a consultation that end on Thursday.
She said “A number of changes have been made to the timetable including an additional stop at Cambridge North, longer journey times, re-timing of services.
“I spoke to Govia Thameslink, the rail operator on the Fen Line route, Kings Lynn to London, and raised my concerns about the extended journey times and removal of services.
“For example the proposed retiming of trains at the end of the school day will impact on students and the loss of an early morning train means that there is an hour gap between 0632 and 0733. “
She said that although the additional stop at new station Cambridge North will add three minutes to journey time “it is nevertheless a welcome addition on the line due to the significant employment opportunities there.
“However at least an additional four to five minutes has been built into the timetable to allow for longer stopping times at stations and for what is being referred to as ‘resilience’ in the programme”.
The MP said Govia Thameslink also highlighted the fact that one of the reasons for the changes to the timetable was to accommodate the new cross rail service in London.
When fully operational there will be direct trains every day of the week from Cambridge to Gatwick, Heathrow, Farringdon and Ashford International.
She said: “This is very good news for rail passengers but I want to ensure our current provision is improved and lengthening travel times by an average of eight minutes is not good news for rail passengers in our region.
“I would urge commuters to contribute to the consultation before it closes this week.’
A spokesman for West Norfolk Council said they had “considerable concerns regarding the general lengthening of journey times proposed in the 2018 timetable for the King’s Lynn to King’s Cross rail route”
“The proposals mean average peak journeys of 113 minutes out and 110 minutes back between King’s Lynn and King’s Cross, an increase of up to 8 minutes.”