Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

New rail services from Monday

by Susan van de Ven on 26 February, 2022

Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group update

In the discombobulating times in which we find ourselves, train services – like so many public services – are struggling to find their way back, with Omicron having dealt a blow this winter.

A combination of continuing driver shortages and reduced passenger demand presents a challenge for all.  Added to this, delayed key infrastructure improvements require short-term timetable alterations. 

Nevertheless, we see positive steps ahead and are hopeful about building back this vital public transport service for our area.  It will take time.  We need drivers and we need passengers!   

Upcoming changes:

  • From 28 February-15 May, we’ll see the same current hourly base timetable, but with additional scheduled morning and afternoon stops designed to accommodate Meldreth-Shepreth-Foxton-Cambridge school travel  The additional stops will consist of:
  • 08:06 (Meldreth), 08:10 (Shepreth), 08:12 (Foxton), 08:23 (Cambridge)
  • 16:06 (Meldreth) 16:10 (Shepreth), 16:12 (Foxton) 16:23 (Cambridge)

and

  • 07:57 (Cambridge), 08:06 (Foxton), 08:09 (Shepreth), 08:12 (Meldreth) – usual station calling pattern to arrive King’s Cross at 09:20
  • 15:57 (Cambridge), 16:06 (Foxton), 16:09 (Shepreth), 16:12 (Meldreth) – usual station calling pattern to arrive King’s Cross at 17:20

This will show on planning apps from 28 February.

There will be no change at this time to services to London – but this should improve in May. So, continuing with the current service of two trains per hour running between Royston and London King’s Cross, with one of these picking up at Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton.  Note parking is free at Shepreth Station and cheap at Meldreth Station (£1.50 daily before 10AM, 50P daily after 10AM).

Pandemic effects and service reliability:

While the overall position is improving, some individual depots still have very significant absence levels, and there is a legacy of two years of disruption to training.

We are now starting to see more people return to rail, albeit in much lower numbers than before the pandemic, particularly with many still working from home. Ridership on our line is at about 60%.

In the short term, GTR are focusing on reliability, so that passengers can be confident that trains will turn up as scheduled. Reliability has been very high since January 1st.

The next timetable change will take place in mid-May.  The plan then is to restore the pre-pandemic half-hourly weekday service.

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