Thameslink launch consultation into Harpenden and Luton Timetables

Class 700
Credit: ThamesLink

Passengers who use Harpenden and Luton stations are being asked by Thameslink for their views on a temporary timetable change.

The change would give Harpenden more services each weekday, but give Luton fewer.

They are also inviting suggestions for other ways that they can increase peak time capacity while East Midlands trains are not serving the route.

They had previously made plans last year to increase services at both stations, however the plans had to be placed on hold to make up for the temporary loss of East Midlands services at Bedford and Luton until December 2020, which was during the upgrade of the Midland Mainline north to Bedford.

The consultation is in response to some Harpenden passengers who have said they need more capacity that comes sooner than the end of next year.

Thameslink is looking at changes that may be introduced in December this year.

Any changes made would be aimed at spreading passengers out across the trains during the morning and evening peak periods.

This would be a temporary arrangement until the stops on the East Midlands services are re-instated in December 2020.

Passenger groups are both being contacted and invited to take part in an on-line survey, and Thameslink senior managers and members of the timetable planning team will be at the stations at the following times to hear passengers’ views and fill in paper surveys:

Harpenden: Wednesday 24 July 16:30 – 19:30, Thursday 1 August 06:30 – 09:30 and Wednesday 4 September 16:30 – 19:30.

Luton: Thursday 25 July 06:30 – 09:30, Wednesday 31 July 16:30 – 19:30 and Thursday 5 September 06:30 – 09:30.

What did the officials have to say?

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink, said:

“This is an important decision, so we want to ask passengers what impact any such change would have on them before taking any action. We have an open mind and welcome feedback.

“I would like to thank passengers in advance for their contributions, which we value highly. We will provide an update in the autumn.”

The towns’ MPs are backing the consultation and are encouraging their constituents to make their views known.

Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, said:

“We all know that Harpenden needs more frequent trains at rush hour. I encourage everyone to take part in this consultation – let’s work together to find a practical way forward to achieve the necessary results.”

Gavin Shuker, the MP for Luton South said:

“Luton is a growing, vibrant town with a population which needs more trains and not fewer. This is an incredibly important consultation for all residents of the town, and I would like as many people as possible to take part and have their say.”

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  • Oh for the old days where extra carriages we position all along the route, encase an extra carriages needed to be inserted quickly or one needed replacing because of a fault. I will not use the network today as so often the invalid seats are taken by others who aren’t. Plus the seats remind me of the old London transport buses just after the war with wooden seats only the trains are covered.