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Peak hour Didcot train change averted

Published on: 05/12/2019

Milton Park’s Travel Forum recently and successfully lobbied Great Western Railway which has avoided the loss of a key peak time train service between Didcot and Reading which would have adversely affected many of the Park’s occupiers.

GWR has made “the largest timetable recast since 1976 with 75% of their services across their network changing” which comes into effect on 15 December 2019.

The proposed changes have meant that the “majority of their customers will have shorter journey times, more seats and a wider choice of services.” This is the “culmination of the investment in electrification of the mainline and investment in brand new trains.”

However, when the proposed timetable changes were announced in early Autumn, it was quickly realised that it would result in the reduction of peak time train services between Didcot and Reading with the current three services reducing to two.

The existing services are: 17.19, 17.30 and 18.00.

The proposed services were: 17.16 and 17.57.

Led by Veronica Reynolds, our sustainable travel advisor, she and others wrote to Mr Mark Hopwood, managing director, GWR to outline their concerns.

Mr Hopwood replied stating: “As you’d expect, we’ve looked at all services in a great amount of detail to make sure we’re delivering the best journey opportunities we can, but you were right to highlight the gap. My train planning team have taken a look and identified an opportunity to call another train at Didcot Parkway at 17.47 (due into Reading at 18.02).”

Departures from 15 December 2019 will be as follows:

DEPART DIDCOT PARKWAY

ARRIVE

READING

DURATION

1716

1756

12 mins

1733

1759

26 mins

1747

1802

15 mins

1757

1809

12 mins

Source: GWR

Philip Campbell, commercial director, Milton Park said: “We are grateful to Veronica and the Travel Forum for noticing this change and successfully lobbying GWR and achieving the result. We thank Mr Hopwood for listening to the concerns and acting on them so quickly and fairly. As part of our Vision 2040 plan, we continue to make a concerted effort to reduce single occupancy car use to and from Milton Park and promote greener travel through other means. This includes train travel and using our free shuttle bus from Didcot to the Park. We hope that this change helps people in getting home from work.”

If you would like to find out more about Milton Park’s Travel Forum, please email: veronica.reynolds@miltonpark.com 

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