Our Recent Posts

Tags

No tags yet.

Meeting Sir Oliver Heald

On Wednesday last week I went to parliament to meet with Sir Oliver Heald. Sorry its taken so long to post a comment about this.. but like everyone else here I spend most of my time either at work, or in Kings Cross looking for trains that actually depart...

A few comments on the meeting:

1. We spent 30 minutes together. Given this was the day of the Brexit vote it felt like I was given a decent amount of time and a fair hearing. The meeting ended naturally - I wasn't rushed out because my time slot had ended.

2. I raised what I think were all of the concerns that people mentioned in the comments under my previous post. A none exhaustive list includes: the random Ashwell train that skips Baldock, cancelling stops so they can avoid delay repay, the broken train that can't stop in unmanned stations, how uncomfortable the new trains are, ramps / lifts at the station, taxi drivers not being paid on time, how much worse the service gets outside of rush hour and the extra capacity required because they plan to build all those extra homes in Baldock

3. Above all else I stressed one thing: That we want the time table we fought for in the consultation. I made it extremely clear that this current mess must not become an excuse to 'have a rethink' and revert to the original proposal. I would appreciate it if others wrote to him in support of this. This should be an easy thing for Govia to agree to... given its supposedly their current plan. Its also my biggest concern. The removal of the East Coast franchise from Virgin means that their departure slots from Kings Cross are up for renegotiation.. which might mean timetable 3.0 and another consultation in the near future (this is pure speculation of course.. we will ask Govia when we meet).

As a more general comment. I found Oliver to be sincere in his concern. I know lots of people here are sceptical (as am I) but I sensed Oliver was trying to help and wasnt just hearing me out to make me feel better. He raised our concerns with Govia the same day of the meeting (as well as speaking again with Grayling).

Sadly just because Oliver is an MP doesnt force Govia to listen to him either.. so time will tell if he is actually able to help. It became clear for example that MPs in Thameslink constituencies were given absolutely no prior warning that this was going to happen.

Please feel free to ask any questions about the meeting in our facebook group. I know politics / politicians is a dangerous subject on social media so please lets be kind to one and other. :) . We also have a meeting with Govia in the diary for early July. We will raise the same concerns there.. and any new ones that arise in the interim.