11:00AM, Friday 22 November 2019
Concerns have been raised over the loss of two fast evening train services from Maidenhead to London which come into effect next month.
From December 15, Transport for London (TfL) will start operating stopping services to and from Paddington before it becomes part of the Elizabeth Line from 2021.
Services are operated by Great Western Railway (GWR) at present.
The GWR timetable will be changing on the same day and it will continue to operate some fast services from Twyford and Maidenhead to London.
Eight direct GWR trains to London will still be available in the morning peak hours between 6.33am and 9:01am. There will also be nine direct trains in the evening from London to Maidenhead, running between 16.50 and 20.18 hours.
But commuters have hit out at the loss of the existing GWR trains at 16.42 and 17.47 hours from Maidenhead, which arrive in Paddington in about 20 minutes, and other timetable changes.
In a letter to the Advertiser, (see Viewpoint, p31), Chris Bailey, from College Avenue, said: “On December 15 there is a new rail timetable being introduced and the number of fast [GWR] trains to and from Paddington/Maidenhead has been reduced significantly. For example, the very popular 9.41am fast train to London [Monday to Friday] is replaced by a slow stopping train run by TfL.
“Overall the introduction of the new Crossrail/ TFL services is a significant backward step for the people of Maidenhead.”
Andrew Hill, a former Borough First candidate for Boyn Hill, said on Twitter: “So much for Crossrail ‘benefits’ to Maidenhead.
“TfL are scrapping fast trains into London for the evening. Tens of thousands of flats are being built here on the strength of Crossrail presence – so why are you doubling so many journey times?”
A GWR spokesman said: “At present we operate 21 services between 16.30 and 20.30, with a mean average journey time of 42.5 minutes.
“Of all of these, two are non-stop from Maidenhead to Paddington.
“From December we will operate 23 services between 16.30 and 20.30, with a mean average journey time of 42 minutes, but all of these will stop at another/other station/s on route.”
He added: “Railway timetables change twice a year but this December’s is something a bit special.
“We will provide more trains from Maidenhead to Paddington between 17.00 and 20.30 and, on average, operate to the same journey time.”