Presentation from Govia Thameslink about issues on the railways of interest to local residents, such as car parking, capacity and long-term plans for stations.
Declarations of Interest: None
Officers attending: Phil Hutchinson, Head of Strategic Planning, Jane Cobb, 2018 Timetable Consultation Project Manager, Govia Thameslink
Petitions, Public Question, Statements: None
The officers presented the consultation just launched on the 2018 timetable.
The Head of Strategic Planning apologised to those present for the ongoing disruption affecting services locally and stated that the company is working hard to restore service levels. He told the committee about the ‘step change’ in infrastructure, capacity and connections that will come following the completion of the London Bridge project. It will be the biggest change to railway timetables in a generation. The consultation closes on 8 December 2016, and he asked for the committee’s support in publicising the consultation locally. Following the consultation, a full timetable will be produced for Spring 2017.
There are changes proposed for the Tandridge area – these can be viewed online and in the consultation documents that the Head of Timetabling agreed to send to the committee. There will be positive changes for train users locally, where connections to London and the north will improve, as will capacity, through the introduction of longer trains, and increased frequency. For example, Caterham will see faster journeys into London, as the train will combine at Purley and continue as a fast train to London Bridge. The frequency is also proposed to increase to 4 per hour during the evenings.
Member Discussion – Key Points:
The Chairman agreed to help publicise the consultation, by sharing with District and Parish Councils. He asked that the committee be sent the consultation documents, so that they are clear what they are being asked to comment upon, and will seek to provide a response from the Local Committee. He invited the Govia representatives to attend the next informal meeting of the committee to discuss the proposals in more detail.
Members raised concerns about the impact of the changes on the number of cars parked on local roads, which is already a key frustration for her residents, and called for more parking to be provided. Mr Hutchinson said there were no plans for increasing car parking within this consultation. He agreed to take the concerns back to the Local Development Manager for Govia Thameslink, who had been unable to attend the meeting.
In response to a question from Mr Sydney, Mr Hutchinson said there were no plans for double decker trains in the near future.
In response to a question from Mrs Windsor, Mr Hutchinson said there were no proposed changes to the frequency of trains on the Tonbridge line, but a new evening service running directly to London was being proposed.
The Area Highway Manager asked that Govia link with Surrey Highways and Transport, who look at bus links with railway timetables. The Head of Timetabling confirmed they were planning to meet with local bus operators as part of the consultation.
The officers said there is a Local Development Fund for integration of services locally, and the committee were keen to know more about this fund.