Home Secretary reassured over Crossrail impact

Home Secretary reassured over Crossrail impact

Daniel Darlington

Home Secretary reassured over Crossrail impact

Reassurance has been given to Theresa May MP that there will not be a reduction in mainline services from Maidenhead and Twyford stations following the arrival of Crossrail.

Mrs May has met with the chairman of Crossrail Terry Morgan and will also speak with Network Rail to ensure commuters don't lose their fast services.

She is determined that rail operators don't withdraw mainline services between Twyford, Maidenhead and London when Crossrail starts running from Maidenhead station in 2019.

She had voiced concerns that fast peak-time services could be withdrawn to accommodate Crossrail trains, which will stop at more stations.

The project is designed to provide a high-capacity direct line to Heathrow, central London and through to Kent and Essex.

"I do not want Maidenhead to become simply the end of the Crossrail line," she said.

"If we do then some of our current benefits for residents and employers will disappear.

"I still want mainline services to stop at Maidenhead to give fast and semi-fast services to Paddington so Maidenhead commuters have a choice."

She also doesn't want to see fewer services from Twyford.

"The assumption might be people can either use a slow service from Maidenhead 'Crossrail' or a fast service from Reading," she added.

It is planned that Crossrail will run 10 trains per hour from Central London, with four per hour to and from Maidenhead and four per hour to and from Heathrow terminal four. There will also be two per hour to and from West Drayton.

Network Rail responded by saying Crossrail will dramatically increase capacity between Twyford, Maidenhead and London.

A spokesman said: "There are no plans to reduce the fast services from Maidenhead, however, the final decision on long-term planning will ultimately be taken by the Department for Transport in the specification of the future Great Western franchise."

The Crossrail line, from Maidenhead in the west to Shenfield in the east, will enable Maidenhead passengers to reach Heathrow in 28 minutes and Tottenham Court Road in 42 minutes. Services will start on some of the route by 2018.

Existing peak-time commuter trains from Maidenhead can reach London Paddington in 23 minutes.

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