Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Shuttle trains on Henley line by December

HALF-HOURLY shuttle trains between Henley and Twyford could be introduced by December.

The trains would run both ways every day via Shiplake.

This was one of the improvements put forward by train operator First Great Western to improve the Henley branch line after complaints by commuters about delays.

The timetable change would mean an hourly service to and from Wargrave with the aim of restoring a half-hourly service when the line is electrified.

There would also be an earlier service from Twyford to Henley on Sunday mornings and a later service from Paddington to Henley in the evenings.

A second lot of changes, which would come into force in May, would see faster and more regular services from Paddington to Henley with a maximum journey time of 49 minutes, compared with up to 63 minutes currently.

The Henley Branch User Group presented the proposals to members of the public during a meeting at the town hall on Thursday last week.Members of the group’s committee agreed to support the proposals.

Councillor Will Hamilton, who represents Henley Town Council on the group, said: “The thought of going from 45 minutes to a 30-minute shuttle is fantastic. The big question is capacity — they are really going to have to look at that.”

Marco Taylor, who represents Twyford, raised concerns about overcrowding and asked First Great Western to consider how the number of passengers using the services would be managed.

The group was formed in April after a meeting organised by Henley MP John Howell following complaints to him about rail services.

Cllr Hamilton formally thanked Patrick Fleming and Neil Gunnell, the group’s founding members.

He said: “I want to thank you for the enormous amount of work that has gone into this already.

“This would never have happened if you hadn’t got together. This first response is remarkably good.”

The group would like feedback from commuters on the proposals and is looking for a representative from Wargrave to join the committee. Anyone interested should email henleybranchusergroup@gmail.com

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