As the First Great Western (FGW) December 2006 timetable comes into force on December 10, Theresa May continues to press for a decent service to Maidenhead and Twyford.
Theresa explained: ‘The December 2006 timetable is simply not good enough for the large numbers of commuters that travel from Maidenhead and Twyford and on the branch lines every day. The 2,500 signature petition led to small improvements but nowhere near what was needed.
‘I have met with FGW and Network Rail again recently to discuss these issues and although they accepted that the timetable was not ideal none of them were willing to take the blame for the unacceptable provisions to Maidenhead and Twyford set out in the new timetable. I have also raised the issue in a meeting with the Transport minister.
‘But as if coping with the December 2006 timetable wasn’t bad enough. Now we are being told that we need to comment now on the timetable for December 2007. FGW tell me that, due to the large number of complaints they received for the December 2006 timetable, they will not be holding a long consultation period for December 2007.
‘This is simply unacceptable. They seem to think that if they don’t let people comment on the timetable they can claim there is no opposition to the proposals.
‘I have been informed that any comments submitted after 18 January 2007 will be unlikely to be considered. So please let FGW know your views NOW! And please do copy me into all your correspondence with them on this issue.
‘I shall be pushing for a full reinstatement of all semi-fast and fast services which were lost in the December 2006 timetable. I shall also be pressing for further improvements to the Maidenhead and Twyford services following the investments by FGW and Network Rail over the next few years and for better branch line connections.
‘FGW will be spending £150million by the end of 2007 on refurbishment and replacement of their rolling stock and Network Rail are spending £750million over 2-3 years on their tracks and infrastructure. Maidenhead and Twyford must be able to see the benefit of this expenditure.
‘If you would like to comment to FGW in person, Richard Rowland, General Manager for the Thames Valley area, will be at Maidenhead station on the evening of Monday 11th January between 4-7pm, Twyford on Tuesday 12th between 4-7pm and London Paddington on the 14th between 4-7pm.
‘Alternatively on Monday 11th December I shall be at Maidenhead and Twyford stations during the early morning peak – I shall be happy to speak with any of you about the new service and discuss improvements we can insist on for the future.’