Surrey Heath Borough Council welcomes the announcement from South Western Railway that the direct Waterloo service to and from Camberley, Frimley and Bagshot will be retained, rather than removed, and that there will be an extra direct Waterloo-Camberley service in the evening peak period.
SHBC played a prominent role in the campaign to maintain and increase the direct service between the borough and London at peak times, rather than the alternative option suggested, which involved changing at Ash Vale.
In response to South Western Railway (SWR)’s consultation on a range of proposed changes to train services in the December 2018 timetable, the Council worked with The Camberley Society, Surrey County Council and Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove to oppose the cutting of the direct service between London and the Borough.
As part of this, in December 2017 the Council sent a formal response to the consultation outlining its objections to the cutting of the direct service to and from London Waterloo.
A service involving a change at Ash Vale with reduced waiting time (making the total journey time less than an hour) had been offered by SWR as an improved option, with the direct service being removed.
Given the feedback received, SWR have kept this improved route via Ash Vale, alongside retaining an improved direct service.
South Western Railway announced on 4 April: “We plan to maintain the direct services from Frimley, Camberley and Bagshot to and from Waterloo at peak times. We will offer three services in both the morning and evening peaks (this represents one additional service during the evening peak period compared to today).
“Our face to face meetings, discussions with MPs and feedback emails told us that the loss of the direct Camberley peak service to and from London was not well received even though a faster journey time would be achievable by changing at Ash Vale.
“We have re-analysed the capacity for services through Ascot in the peak and will plan that direct services will be maintained from and to Frimley, Camberley and Bagshot with Waterloo in the peak. In both the morning and evening peaks we propose to run three direct services which would mean an additional direct service in the evening peak period compared to today.”
Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Special Projects Cllr Charlotte Morley said: “I am thrilled that not only have the current through trains been retained, but an additional through train has been added in the evening.
“In addition to the less than an hour peak service via Ash Vale this is an improved rail service for Camberley, Frimley and Bagshot stations.
“It is a great result for the Camberley Society, Borough and County Councils and our MP who all worked together to deliver this improved service with the support of South Western Railway.”
More information: http://www.southwesternrailway.com/timetableconsultation