Lucy Frazer MP and East Cambs residents win the day as two Ely to Cambridge rail services are converted back to off-peak

Lucy Frazer MP meets Nick Brown, chief operating officer of Govia Thameslink, to discuss improvement

Lucy Frazer MP meets Nick Brown, chief operating officer of Govia Thameslink, to discuss improvements to Ely to Cambridge rail services. - Credit: Archant

Two rail services from Ely to Cambridge are to be converted back to off-peak, saving commuters £1.50 per journey and allowing bicycles onboard.

The 8.54am train, run by Cross Country, and the 8.45am train, run by Govia Thameslink Railway, will be designated as off-peak “in the near future”.

It follows a meeting on Wednesday (June 20) when Nick Brown, chief operating officer of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), told Lucy Frazer MP that he would help pursue “a satisfactory solution” to the change of time and speak to rail operator Cross Country.

Ms Frazer said: “This is fantastic news and will mean that local residents, who depend on an off-peak service to get them into Cambridge by 9.30am for work, will continue to pay an off-peak rate.

“I am delighted that GTR have listened to the concerns of local residents and decided to continue to provide an early off-peak service into Cambridge so that commuters can continue to get into work on time without facing peak fares.

“The off-peak designation should take effect in the near future. I wish to thank, in particular, Lauren Thomas, and all of those constituents of mine who have worked hard on this campaign to ensure a successful outcome – this is great news.”

At the end of April, Ms Frazer attacked the decision to bring forward the rail service from Ely to London by 13 minutes which has added an extra £15 to the journey.

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Her campaign backed that of Lauren Thomas who launched a petition on calling for the off peak to be re-instated.

Lauren, who has collected 400 signatures, said: “For years I have been catching the 8.58am train from Ely in to Cambridge. This is an off peak train, that I am allowed to take my bike on with me.”

The petition came after Govia Thameslink switched the 8.58am off peak service to King’s Cross to 8.45am in May, meaning service users would need to buy an anytime day return for £46.30 instead of an off peak day return for £31.20.

And for commuters from Ely into Cambridge it meant an off peak day return of £7.10 rather than £4.60.

At Wednesday’s meeting Ms Frazer also addressed “the ongoing disruption following the implementation of the new timetable which is affecting all rail users in the region”.

Nick Brown told Ms Frazer that GTR are “focusing all efforts on resolving the issues and achieving greater reliability as soon as possible.

“He said specific changes were being put in place to improve reliability and reduce cancellations.”