Timetable changes 'possibly next month'

A TRAIN company under fire from its customers since a new timetable was introduced has revealed changes could be made to services within a month. Rail operator One brought in new schedules on December 12 but many passengers across north Essex are opposed to the overhaul which for some has resulted in longer working days.

A TRAIN company under fire from its customers since a new timetable was introduced has revealed changes could be made to services within a month.

Rail operator One brought in new schedules on December 12 but many passengers across north Essex are opposed to the overhaul which for some has resulted in longer working days.

But One, which had stated any major changes will not be made until June, has now said it may be possible to make "some slight adjustments" next month.

The exact details of the changes have yet to be made public although they will have to be discussed with Network Rail.


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MPs from across the region have tried to resolve the problems and Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative MP for North Essex, is to meet with One's chief executive, Tim Clarke.

Mr Jenkin said: "I very much hope that my meeting with Mr Clarke will pave the way towards a resolution of the difficulties that so many of my constituents have been experiencing with the new timetable recently."

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The talks follow the Braintree MP, Alan Hurst, raising the issue in the House of Commons last week.

He said: "Fewer trains run at peak times and arrival and departure times are confused compared with the with the previous timetable.

"As a result trains are more crowded than they were and standing is the order of the day."

Mr Hurst was told the issue would be brought to the attention of the Secretary of State for Trasnport.

Last month, the Harwich MP, Ivan Henderson, flagged up with One the problems faced by his constituents as a result of the changes.

In October the EADT spoke to David Bigg, of the Witham and Braintree Rail Users' Association, who predicted the new timetables would cause "further chaos and overcrowding and misery" for the region's commuters to the capital.

The association revealed at the weekend that it was continuing to receive complaints from angry passengers and said its membership was on the increase.

A spokesman for One Great Eastern said: "We are listening to passengers' concerns, the real issue though is that we are still very much in the early days with the new timetable and it has been beginning to work better over the past week.

"Punctuality has been getting much better - 92% of trains were arriving within the set time last week.

"But we recognise there are people who have a number of concerns and we are listening to their comments and looking at what we can do in the short term.

"There are adjustments which we may be able to introduce early next month, and as far as any other changes we are monitoring comments and feedback and it will be June for further alterations."

He added any changes would be negotiated with Network Rail before they were introduced.

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