Article for MyLocal News

It is time I returned to the subject of the Metropolitan Line timetable.  It is a frequent topic for these columns but I have had a complaint that I hadn’t covered the matter for a while.

As you may recall, the change in rolling stock has meant fewer seats.  A knock-on consequence has been that, outside peak hours, all trains on the Amersham branch have become slow trains.  I have pressing for action to address these problems.

I have previously mentioned that London Underground have told me that they were looking at extending the ‘peak time’ for the Amersham branch.  In other words, fast trains would run for a longer period in the day.  Obviously, this would be good news for Chorleywood, Rickmansworth and Moor Park commuters.  It also provides an option for Croxley Green commuters who can change at Moor Park to get on a fast train.

London Underground have now confirmed that this is going to happen, with a new timetable in place from 8 December.  The time periods the ‘fast’ and ‘semi-fast’ services run from most stations will be increased by up to an hour in both the morning and evening peak periods. In fact, this is slightly better than London Underground were suggesting earlier in the year.

From Chorleywood for example, the first ‘fast’ service in to central London will be at 06.08 (current first fast service is at 06.42), with the last ‘fast’ service departing at 09.22 (the current departs at 09.06).

Returning from central London in the evening peak, the first ‘fast train’ from Baker Street to Chorleywood will depart at 16.11 (compared to 17.11 at present). The last ‘fast’ service will depart Baker Street at 20.09 (currently it is at 20.05). However a new later ‘semi-fast’ departure at 20.14 from Baker Street completes the journey to Chorleywood in 40 minutes – which is only two minutes longer than the current last ‘fast’ departure from Baker Street at 20.05.

There is a second piece of news from London Underground is also welcome.  Improvements to track and other infrastructure will mean that they will slightly increase the speeds at which trains operate on parts of the line, meaning some journeys  - particularly on the Watford and Amersham/Chesham branches - will be slightly faster than at present. For example the time scheduled for most trains to travel from Chesham to Aldgate southbound in the off-peak will be up to four and a half minutes faster than under the current timetable, with two minutes shaved off the northbound peak time journey from Aldgate to Amersham.

This is a small, incremental improvement but a step in the right direction.  Of course, the frustration of not being able to get a seat – a too frequent occurrence for many peak time commuters – will continue.  And there are still long parts of the day when the only trains are available.

These are problems that should be rectified when the full upgrade has been completed but I will continue to press for further improvements in the interim.


Small businesses have been the focus on much of my attention of late.  In Parliament, I have been taking the National Insurance Contributions Bill through the House of Commons.  This is mainly about the new Employment Allowance which will mean that businesses won’t have to pay the first £2,000 of their employers’ NICs Bill.  This is really good news for smaller businesses in particular (taking around 450,000 small businesses out of employers NICs altogether).  It is a policy I have been involved in from the very beginning and I am looking forward to it come into operation in April.

Small businesses are vital to economy and I am delighted that we will be celebrating them on 7 December with the UK’s first ‘Small Business Saturday’.  I will be at an event organised by Rickmansworth Chamber of Commerce in Croxley Green on that Saturday morning on ‘Growing Your Business’.  The idea of SBS began in the US and is about supporting and encouraging small businesses.  It is a new idea for the UK but I hope it can succeed.

Croxley Rail Link Petition

Surgeries

David holds regular surgeries at various places in the constituency, including Rickmansworth, South Oxhey, Berkhamsted and Tring. 
 
Forthcoming dates:

2018
12th January - Berkhamsted
2nd February - Rickmansworth
9th February - Tring
23rd February - South Oxhey
9th March - Berkhamsted

Call 01923 771781 to make an appointment.

Record of surgeries

 

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