Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse has joined the campaign to keep the direct train from Oldfield Park to London Waterloo running – following the government’s decision to cancel it. Since then, she has secured a meeting with the Transport Minister to discuss the issue.
Wera has also written to the Department for Transport raising the concerns of local residents. In Parliament last week, Wera asked the Minister to reconsider cuts to this service, which will make travel into South London nearly three times more expensive for her constituents in Bath and force them to use the Underground while Covid cases are very high.
The service is due to be cut this December, which would also see Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge also lose their direct link to the capital. The route is the only through train from South London to Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon, Oldfield Park, Keynsham and the only service from Bath and Bristol to South London.
“The cancellation of this service will be damaging for residents in Bath. I’m pleased that the Minister has agreed to meet with me and I hope that we can agree on a suitable way forward.
“There is no excuse for cancelling this service which would see travel costs rise significantly for South West residents. We should be encouraging more people to use trains as we tackle the climate crisis, not cutting services and forcing people into cars.
“I know many people also use this service to get to South London so that they can avoid the Tube. Unfortunately, under these plans, they’ll be forced to put themselves at greater risk. Covid cases are very high and people should have the opportunity to take a green, safe and more affordable route to South London.”
This service was introduced to allow people to connect with the Eurostar trains when they ran from Waterloo. They haven’t done so since 2007! I am sure some (but how many?) people do find running into S. London directly is convenient. But the problem is this is a short train with few passengers running into a fantastically busy London terminus on highly congested lines. I’m amazed it wasn’t taken out of the timetable years ago.
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