Local rail services saved!

Lynne Featherstone MP outside the Department for Transport, holding the document which confirms there will be no losses of services at Hornsey and HarringayFollowing a yearlong local Liberal Democrat campaign, the Department for Transport (DfT) today announced that there will be no service reductions at any local stations, including Hornsey and Harringay.

The good news was also confirmed by Transport Minister Simon Burns MP in a meeting earlier today with Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone – who went to the DfT to make one last plea for no loss of local services.

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Lib Dems launched the successful campaign last year, in response to the announcement of a new Thameslink rail franchise.

Services at Hornsey and Harringay were threatened with reductions, as newer, longer trains would not have been able to stop at the shorter platforms.

While the newer trains will still be in operation, the DfT has specified to franchise bidders that current services to Harringay and Hornsey must be maintained alongside the newer services.

The DfT also confirmed that, under the new franchise, evening and weekend services would now run into Moorgate as well as Kings Cross, and that Hornsey and Harringay stations will now be permanently staffed.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“This is fantastic news for everyone who uses Hornsey and Harringay stations. Service levels will be at least kept at current levels, and may even increase!

“Thank you to everyone who filled in our survey and took part in the campaign. A whopping 98% of you agreed with our campaign to oppose loss of services, and we made sure the DfT heard your voices by sending them the results.

“The combination of people power and the Lib Dems in Haringey has paid off again!

“The local Lib Dems and I will now turn our attention to the franchise bidders – and make sure that their bids provide us with the best services possible.”

Lynne Featherstone MP calls on rail bidders to protect local services

Lynne Featherstone MP with local Lib Dem campaigners at Hornsey Rail StationLynne Featherstone MP last week met with some of the rail companies who are currently bidding to run the new Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern Franchise – which covers rail stations in Haringey Borough.

Funded by Government investment, the new Franchise aims to improve services by installing longer, more regular, and more reliable trains in and out of London.

However, concern arose that smaller local stations, such as Hornsey and Harringay, could get fewer services as a result of the new Franchise – as the newer trains would be too long to stop at their platforms.

The Liberal Democrat MP last year began a campaign against any losses of service at the smaller stations. A survey showed that 98% of people agreed with this campaign – though a high percentage also wanted newer, longer trains.

During the meetings, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green – along with local Liberal Democrat Councillors David Schmitz and Richard Wilson – put forward the views of constituents, and argued strongly for no losses of service at any local station.

The local MP suggested platform extensions at the smaller stations as a means to ensure the newer, longer trains could stop just as regularly.

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“The Thameslink services currently suffer from reliability problems, overcrowding, and dated trains, so I do very much welcome the huge investment in the Thameslink Franchise.

“However, it is vital that there are no service reductions at our smaller local station – particularly Hornsey and Harringay. Residents have shown that they agree by overwhelmingly supporting this campaign.

“Rest assured that the local Lib Dems and I are pushing both the bidders and the Department for Transport, to ensure that no services are lost at these stations as a result of the new Franchise.”

Lynne Featherstone MP welcomes £500,000 refurbishment of Hornsey station

Local activist Dawn Barnes and Caroline Pidgeon AM at Hornsey rail stationLynne Featherstone MP has today welcomed the announcement of a £500,000 refurbishment of Hornsey station.

The work, which will begin on 22nd July, includes a refurbishment of the Tottenham Lane entrance, the ticket office and booking hall. The connecting footbridges will be repaired and resurfaced and the platform canopies will be restored and improved. Bright LED lighting will be fitted throughout the station, including over the footbridges.

The station will remain open during its usual hours throughout the refurbishment.

Local MP Lynne Featherstone, Hornsey Lib Dem Councillors and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on the GLA Caroline Pidgeon have been working together and calling on First Capital Connect to make these improvements to Hornsey Station for years. They will be continuing to push, however, for First Capital Connect to lengthen the platforms at Hornsey station and for better disabled access.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Hornsey, Errol Reid commented:

“We welcome this much needed investment but it will still leave Hornsey with shorter platforms meaning it will miss out on some of the services other local stations will get.

“I have also been calling on First Capital Connect for improved disabled access at the station, which so far they have not agreed to.

“The Lib Dems will continue to work with Caroline Pidgeon on this and put pressure on First Capital Connect to lengthen the platforms at Hornsey so local residents and commuters get a better service.”

Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone commented:

“This is wonderful news for customers and for Hornsey station – which is long overdue a refurbishment. I’d like to thank the local residents and our Hornsey Lib Dem councillors and activists, who have worked so hard to push for these improvements.

“We will continue to push for longer platforms at the station so that Hornsey can enjoy the same services as other stations in the area.”