The new rail timetable from High Wycombe to London Marylebone has been causing considerable dissatisfaction amongst Wycombe commuters. As a regular local commuter myself, I have firsthand experience of the kind of problems that can occur.
I have received a letter from Chiltern Railways explaining the current situation from their perspective:
- A completely new timetable was introduced on 4th September that means trains now take on average less time to reach Marylebone;
- They have added extra coaches from HW at 0626, 0725 and 0755 while the 1825 has also been extended;
- At peak times, trains run about every 10-12 minutes (it’s more like 15 minutes between 07:00 and 08:00, according to my iPhone app);
- An extra 12 coaches have been added to their commuter fleet in the past 12 months;
- Platform 1 at HW has been extended to take six rather than three coaches; and
- They have built a new transport interchange and the multi-storey car park.
Through passenger feedback, Chiltern Railways can shorten those trains that are least used which in turn will allow the busiest to be lengthened. I’m looking forward to the end of what we may all hope is a transitional period of adjustment: the railways are neither fully private nor fully nationalised but it falls to Chiltern Railways to keep their customers happy. Views on the new timetable are quite divergent and Chiltern Railways have said that they want to be careful that any changes they do make don’t inadvertently frustrate other passengers.
Chiltern Railways’ £150m investment was made without financial recourse to the tax payer. This is something I strongly welcome but it remains the case that transport is politicised, which is regrettable.