Thursday 6 July 2017

Holding Thameslink to account

I wasn't planning on finishing this blog this morning, but thanks to Thameslink cancelling the 07:47 from Mill Hill, I've had some extra time to do it. It seems that Barnet Council are holding a meeting with Thameslink to discuss their service. Adam Langleben, a Labour Councillor has asked the public to raise their concerns with him

There are many questions I'd like to ask. The scope of the failure of Thameslink Govia is laid bare by the number of people who travel from Mill Hill. This has dropped by over 650,000 in a year according to the latest travel survey

2014–15 Increase 2.675 million
2015–16 Decrease 1.949 million
Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.

Clearly that is a massive indictment of the poor service provided by Thameslink. On Monday (the latest available figure), only 69% of trains ran on time on the route

As you can see, this is woeful.

The obvious question is 'when can we expect to see some respite from this woeful service?'

I also have several questions specific to Mill Hill, which I use on a daily basis.

1. When can we expect step free access? Thameslink could deliver this easily and cheaply via lifts and a footbridge using the existing access on platform 4. The station used to have a lift to platform 1, which was actually removed by First Capital Connect when the booking hall was refurbished. The platform 4 option would require co operation with Barnet Council, so what better time to do it?

2. Toilets at Mill Hill station. The station previously had toilets on platform 1. It is ridiculous that a station used by 2 million people a year has no toilet.

3. Under British Rail there were 8 rush hour trains an hour, privatisation has decimated the service from Mill Hill. When will this be restored?

4. Under British Rail, when trains were cancelled, fast services were stopped to help relieve congestion. Now they whizz through, half empty. When trains arrive, they are full and people can't get on. This results in the train taking longer to depart, further delaying things. The solution is simple, stop a fast service.

5. When the service fails, trains are too full to board. Thameslink refuse to pay compensation as the train ran. This is clearly a failed service. Compensations reflect the ability to travel.

6. Previously when Govia ran the service, season ticket holders got an automatic discount, now you need to manually claim it. Train operator companies get a refund from Network Rail but this isn't being passed on, this is clearly unfair.

These are my questions. Please tweet yours to Adam Langleben

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