Mayor Dorothy Thornhill has written to Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP on behalf of thousands of Watford residents affected by the loss of Southern Rail services through Watford Junction.
Commuters have lost all of their Southern services on the Milton Keynes to Clapham Junction line, resulting in a lengthy or expensive detour via the London Overground or Euston and the Tube.
Dorothy's letter to Mr Grayling can be found below:
I am writing regarding the ongoing disruption to the Southern Rail network.
I have been contacted by many Watford commuters who have been hit particularly hard by the removal of Southern services on the Milton Keynes to Clapham Junction line.
Passengers for west and south London destinations and connections face a lengthy or expensive detour via Euston or the London Overground, and they have been given no indication as to when the services will be restored. Similarly the loss of the Southern service has reduced capacity for commuters travelling to and from Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes, resulting in crowded London Midland services.
I believe the total loss of services on the Milton Keynes to Clapham route to be disproportionate, considering other parts of the network have retained the majority of services in peak hours.
I would like to reassure my constituents that the Government is taking action to resolve this problem immediately.
Therefore I would be grateful if you could outline the measures you are taking as Secretary of State to resolve this matter, and explain why this situation has been allowed to happen.
I have not only been contacted by commuters but also businesses. Both small companies and large employers, including Camelot, are concerned about the effect the Southern Rail cancellations are having on both employees and customers.
The local economies of towns like Watford depend on a reliable rail network, and Southern’s failure to provide even a basic level of service is now starting to have a noticeable impact.
It is my view that Southern have failed to provide even a basic level of service to commuters, and that they should be stripped of the franchise in order for a new operator to restore a reliable level of service to the network.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Baroness Dorothy Thornhill MBE
Elected Mayor of Watford