MP calls for meeting with Govia Thameslink over Ely to Cambridge off-peak service change

Lucy Frazer MP

Lucy Frazer MP - Credit: Archant

Lucy Frazer MP is urging train operator Govia Thameslink to revise the timing of their first off-peak service from Ely to Cambridge.

The MP for South East Cambridgeshire has called for a face-to-face meeting with the chief operating officer as she says she is ‘not letting go’ of her concerns about changing the timing of the service from 08.58 to 09.17.

The revised timetable was introduced a couple of weeks ago, but Ms Frazer wrote to train bosses in April.

Her concerns included:

• The adverse financial impact on constituents previously able to travel from Ely to Cambridge for a 9.30am start on an off peak tariff.

• The original off peak service also allowed those who needed to, to take their full size bicycles on board.

• When a draft timetable put out by Govia for consultation maintained a pre 9am off peak service but the final timetable with no pre 9am off peak service was only published once the consultation was finished.

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• The fact that ‘little effort’ was made by Govia to gain feedback from Ely passengers on the grounds that Ely Station is operated by a different company.

She said that she received an ‘unsatisfactory written response’ which prompted her to arrange a call to discuss the matter further.

“To date I have been disappointed with the responses I have received from Govia, both written and verbal,” she said.

“I am intent on pursuing the problem for Ely commuters and ensuring that this issue gets the attention it deserves.”

In a post from Ms Frazer on social media, Shona Johnstone, former leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, commented: “GTR claim the service is improved. But the timetable that was introduced on May 20 was worse than the one it replaced, never mind the chaos that has resulted.

“More stops and a slower service and 90 per cent of the time trains are late, but because it’s less than five minutes they are not recorded as late.

“It mounts up to around an hour a week, but no compensation or acknowledgement of the dire service.”

Another reader said: “Lucy this issue relates to one train. Are you aware of the shambolic current state of the whole service on every GN train from Ely?

“Emergency timetable with many additional stops and longer journey times for your constituents. That’s the big picture you should be focusing on and asking for accountability from Govia and Chris Grayling. This #railplan2020 is literally ruining your constituent’s lives.”