Yesterday, Danny Kruger and I met once again with GWR to discuss their proposed timetables west to Kintbury, Hungerford and Bedwyn ahead of the introduction of the new timetable.
Following previous meetings, I have had with the rail minister Wendy Morton, GWR have reinstated the direct Paddington to Bedwyn service at 19.07.
This means that the evening timetable currently looks like this:
They have agreed to a number more of my constituents requests:
- They have agreed that the 08.49 Bedwyn – Newbury train will be treated as an “off-peak easement”, meaning fares will be at the off-peak rate with passengers able to use railcards and other discounts on this service.
- In addition, GWR have also extended the 09.20 service from Newbury through to Paddington (it was originally timetabled to terminate at Reading), meaning only one connection for those travelling from Hungerford and Kintbury.
In addition, as the new timetable comes into effect, there will also be an increased staff presence at Newbury station to support passengers.
Nonetheless, I know that for many the May timetable is still less than ideal, especially for those travelling to London for work and returning to West Berkshire in the evening. Whilst GWR made clear it will not now be possible to make further changes to the timetable until December, I did press them for additional direct services in the evening – specifically the 20.07. I have received an undertaking that they will consider this and get back to me later in the year and will be publishing a revised timetable in December with much shorter connection times to speed up the overall journey.