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Theresa presses for increase in fast train services

  • 12 Jan 2015

Theresa May has called for more action to boost train services from Maidenhead and Twyford. Responding to a Network Rail consultation on the future of the Great Western line, Theresa called for an increase in fast and semi-fast services to and from London Paddington to reflect commuters’ working patterns. She also reiterated her support for semi-fast Crossrail services and Western Rail Access to Heathrow.

Network Rail’s ‘Western Route Study’ consultation sets out the strategic vision for the next 30 years of the rail network. In her submission to the consultation, Theresa stated that there should be no reduction in Great Western services, and she pressed Network Rail to look at increasing the number of fast and semi-fast services beyond the current peak periods in response to modern patterns of work, with more people making use of flexible working arrangements.

Theresa also welcomed Network Rail’s commitment to assess the feasibility of semi-fast Crossrail services to cut the time between Maidenhead and Paddington. She stated that the best long-term approach would be for Crossrail to provide semi-fast services alongside those already offered by First Great Western in order to enhance choice for commuters

Commenting, Theresa said: “With people making more use of flexible working arrangements, there is a need for more fast and semi-fast services beyond the current peak periods – this means services throughout the day to ensure that the timetable keeps pace with modern patterns of work.”

As of 30th June 2014, every employee has the right to request flexible working. Previously, the right had only been available for carers or people who look after children. Over 140,000 people are expected to make use of flexible working arrangements every year, with businesses benefitting by £55.8 million per year.