Local MP, Anne Milton, has met South Western Railway’s Managing Director. Andy Mellors, to discuss the various concerns constituents have raised about the local rail service, including but not limited to, delays and a lack of seating capacity.
Anne said: "Since the new franchise came in, there has been a feeling that a great more could be done to improve customer experiences."
Some of the commitments SWR made at this meeting include:
• 100 additional carriages have been added to some of the busiest routes since December. This has been made possible after the extensive August Waterloo upgrade works which provided longer platforms.
• Some trains have been lengthened to 10 or 12 carriages.
• By the end of the year, the former Waterloo International Terminal will reopen for domestic use. By December 2020, SWR will add 52,000 extra seats in to or out of Waterloo at peak times.
• New half-hourly Guildford - Farnham services are being proposed as part of the December 2018 timetable consultation
• A £45m refurbishment and retractioning of 18 Class 442 electric multiple-units for use on fast London Waterloo – Portsmouth services, from December 2018. The December timetable will also see an increase to 4 direct trains per hour from Portsmouth to Waterloo.
• A £50m refurbishment to the existing 172-strong Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro fleet of trains is underway, resulting in additional Standard class seating.
• 90 new state of the art Aventra trains (or 750 new carriages) will be introduced by the end of 2019 at a cost of £895M, to deliver significant capacity increase at peak times into and out of London and improve the customer experience for passengers.
Andy Mellors said: “It was good to meet Anne and listen to constituents’ concerns. We know we have much to do but we have exciting plans in terms of new trains and increased capacity and are working hard with our partners Network Rail to improve performance.”
Speaking after the meeting, Anne added: “Many of my constituents have raised concerns about their experiences with South Western Railway, and it was good to be able to raise these issues face to face. I hope to see significant progress soon and will be watching developments closely. I will not stop the fight for better train services for Guildford – real change is long overdue!
"I am always keen to hear from local people and would encourage any constituents who have any concerns or comments about the rail service to get in touch with me via the details below.”