South Western Railway must think again on slashing train services

Plans for serious cuts to train services across south west London from December 2022 are premature and unjustified – that is the clear message that has been sent to South Western Railway by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

Responding to the South Western Railway consultation for timetable changes from December 2022, the Liberal Democrats have challenged the fundamental basis behind the consultation, given the lack of certainty about long-term train use. They also highlight the harmful impact that the proposals will have for users of numerous stations across South West London.

Commenting on South Western Railway’s proposals, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said:

“We simply do not know the long term impact of greater homeworking, flexible hours or for how long Covid-19 will impact on us. However, what we do know is that our trains were far too crowded before the pandemic started. Passenger numbers have already started to grow again and may easily return to pre-Covid levels with significant new housing developments and London’s growing population.

“South Western Railway’s proposals are a snub to communities across South West London.

“With Crossrail 2 no longer being progressed as an option to tackle chronic levels of railway overcrowding, we need to ensure that existing train services are maintained.

“In the midst of a climate emergency, we must stop any proposals which will make it more likely for people to drive instead of use the train.”