SWT Urged to Take Action


Posted by News Editor

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MP Steve Brine has warned South West Trains they risk leaving their franchise under a cloud unless they take urgent action to help morning commuters.

The Winchester MP, who regularly joins thousands of his constituents on the journey into Waterloo, says ticketing problems during morning peak times are impacting on rail users and fuelling fears the operator is neglecting the city after it lost the franchise to rival bidder First Group.

They take over all services on the South Western Franchise from mid-August: “South West Trains have done so much for Winchester and I’ve worked closely with them to deliver improvements such as the footbridge, increased parking, the brilliant new cycle hub and improved late night staffing.

“However, I think they’re letting themselves, and us, down at the last by closing the London side ticket office during the morning rush and still not addressing the unreliability of the ticket machines. This has been going on for some time but it’s really starting to bite.”

The MP has been contacted by frustrated constituents who say increasing delays have caused them to miss trains or be forced to board without a valid ticket.

He added that thousands of his constituents will be using the station, many of them without the luxury of a season ticket, over the the next fortnight during the Wimbledon tennis championships: “It’s no use closing the ticket office if you don’t have sufficient machines to cope and those that are there  refuse to take certain cards or go offline when passengers need them most.

“My message to SWT, who continue to run a largely reliable service into the city, is to make sure they go out with a flourish not a whimper. My constituents have spent a lot of money with them over the years of this franchise and we deserve nothing less.”

A notice on the London side ticket office says it is closed until further notice.