Rail user groups covering all the Great Northern Mainline stations in Welwyn Hatfield - Welwyn North, WGC, Hatfield, Welham Green and Brookmans Park - have come together to register their concern over Govia Railway's draft timetable to start in 2018. Amongst the various concerns, the following issues were specifically highlighted in a recent press release:
- Stopping of services from Hatfield, WGC and Welwyn North to Peterborough. 'Peterborough is now the main InterCity railhead for Herts, as well as being a destination in itself, yet we lose all trains there. Even worse, the connection time at Stevenage will be 8 minutes northbound and an astonishing 23 minutes southbound' said spokesman for the user groups Malcolm Cowan.
- WGC and Hatfield are the busiest stations on Great Northern between London and Peterborough or Cambridge other than Stevenage, yet get little or no increase in trains, unlike much smaller stations.
- A threat to end evening services earlier than now. 'London is a 24-hour city, yet we may lose later trains, to allow Network Rail an even longer period to work. Yet the Thameslink route to St Albans has a half-hourly service all night. Why not us?' he said.
- Reducing the number of trains from Welham Green and Brookmans Park outside the peaks from 3 per hour to 2 per hour. This means only half the planned Metro service will call at our local stations. Contrast this with the Hertford branch where stations will get 6 trains per hour.
'I hope local residents will read the consultation document at http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/your-journey/timetable-consultation and respond by 8 December. Otherwise these proposals are likely to be adopted' Malcolm added.