Surrey Lib Dems challenge SWR on reduced timetable

January 14, 2022 2:28 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Will Forster with train in backgroundSurrey Lib Dems are coming out in support of commuters across the county who are facing more uncertainty following South Western Railways' decision to introduce a new reduced timetable effective next week.

SWR are citing reasons of reduced passenger numbers and staff shortages due to a high number of Omicron infections. The timeframe for reinstating normal services has been left open adding to the insecurity of key workers, school pupils and those unable to work from home and who have no choice, but to travel by train.

Will Forster, Group Leader of Surrey Lib Dems said: "Sarah Olney, Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park has secured a debate in the House of Commons on Friday afternoon on this subject, so we will be following that closely. It does appear that although Omicron infections are still high, infection numbers are now falling quickly, so it is likely that staff shortages will be relatively short lived and demand for services will be restored. Regular and reliable local train services are essential to keeping Surrey moving and to allow businesses and schools to stay open. Also, to start tackling climate change by reducing emissions, we also need those train services at affordable fares so that residents can choose to leave their cars at home.

SWR needs to take a broader approach and not resort to this knee jerk reaction."