Bedford's rail users 'betrayed' by loss of peak services MP rages

Peak time services are set to be reduced from Bedford station
Peak time services are set to be reduced from Bedford station

Bedford’s rail users have been ‘betrayed’ by the upcoming loss of peak time services to and from St Pancras – said Bedford’s MP.

Mohammad Yasin raised concerns in a Westminster debate last Tuesday that from May 2018, no East Midlands services arriving into St Pancras between 7-10am, or leaving St Pancras between 4-7pm will stop at Bedford.

Speaking at the debate, Mr Yasin said: "Rail users who use train services from Bedford have been betrayed.

"We were promised that electrification of the midland main line would mean faster, greener, more reliable train journeys, and associated economic benefits.

"Instead, electrification has been cancelled and we are now losing our fast peak-time East Midlands Trains service. The announcement just before Christmas was a big shock."

The timetable change would be in place until the completion of the midland main line upgrade in 2020.

But the MP has been encouraged after hearing that plans are now being explored for the potential running of an additional “peak-busting” EMT service direct between Bedford and St Pancras, and that meetings to discuss the moves with senior politicians have been set up.

Mr Yasin told the T&C after the debate: “I was encouraged by the news that the new Rail Minister, Jo Johnson has agreed to meet Bedford rail users in a public meeting, most likely in Parliament, to hear their concerns over the timetable changes.

"They were not consulted about the loss of peak time services and it’s time their voices were heard.

"I am further encouraged to hear that an extra service may be added to mitigate the peak time problem. The pressure that I and fellow MPs has exerted on the DFT is starting to pay off and I hope we can finally start seeing a fairer proposal for Bedford rail users."