Stephen McPartland
Working hard for you
in Stevenage, Knebworth, Codicote, Datchworth and Aston

I am a commuter myself and sharing your experiences. I am very sorry about the disruption that has been caused and I have made a number of statements with the latest here.

This week, I have agreed with the Department of Transport some additional LNER (Virgin) train stops, at Stevenage, to alleviate some of the pressure between now and July 15th. I am waiting for final confirmation on timings this evening or tomorrow, as they have stopped on an ad hoc basis so far this week. However, we need them timetabled and regulated, so passengers can plan their journey better.  

A further challenge we have at the moment is the number of people from nearby towns commuting into Stevenage by car to travel to London, as we have more seats and services throughout the whole day than any of them, plus the LNER (Virgin) trains. For example on the current timetable, I have nine services scheduled between Stevenage and London from 7am to 8am, whereas Hitchin has four and others two. This is placing huge pressure on our station and adding to the overcrowding on some services.  

A close approximation of the May version of the new timetable will be go live on the 15th July and we will see a significant step-change. The new timetable will be published this Friday, to help passengers plan journeys. I know some people have asked for us to revert back to the old timetable, but that is not possible or desirable. When fully operational the new timetable is a massive improvement for Stevenage and Knebworth. It is a huge increase in seats and additional trains and destinations. For example:

Towards London

Stevenage

Knebworth

Daily *

Daily *

Trains

Seats

Capacity

Trains

Seats

Capacity

Dec-17

88

34,200

57,600

43

13,500

22,700

May-18

107

57,700

152,400

46

18,400

47,600

Dec-18

126

70,600

186,100

46

19,500

51,200

 

From London

Stevenage

Knebworth

Daily *

Daily *

Trains

Seats

Capacity

Trains

Seats

Capacity

Dec-17

82

29,400

49,400

44

14,100

23,500

May-18

110

58,700

154,600

45

19,300

49,500

Dec-18

128

69,900

183,600

45

19,300

49,500


I share your frustration, but remain focused on making the new timetable work, as the additional seats, trains and destinations are a massive step-change and will be another boost to our local economy. Remember, work started on this back in November 2016 and all my responses to the consultation are available here.

Finally, additional compensation for Season ticket holders has been agreed in principle and I am trying to get it extended to other people who travel more than 3 days a week on average. The Inquiry that has been announced will agree the details, timings and process.

I will also stay in daily contact with Govia and Rail Ministers to get the best possible service for my constituents.

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