Lynne Featherstone MP stands up for local rail services

Lynne with Councillor David Schmitz and local campaigners at Hornsey station

Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, today submitted a response to the Thameslink Consultation. The Local MP stressed the need for any future franchise to ensure that Harringay and Hornsey stations receive the full benefit of increased service levels.

The consultation asks for views on the future of the Thameslink franchise, and will directly affect railway services at Bowes Park, Alexandra Palace, Hornsey, Harringay and Finsbury Park. Due to high public interest, the consultation was extended until today, September 14th.

During the consultation period, the Liberal Democrat MP wrote to thousands of local households, informing them of the consultation. Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone also conducted a survey, which asked residents their opinions on local rail services.

In her submission, the local MP expressed her support for the submission of the Haringey Liberal Democrat Group. Also included in the submission were the results of the MP’s local survey. The survey asked residents for their opinion on

potential changes to services. Of the 280 respondents, 95.7% expressed support for the local Liberal Democrat’s campaign to oppose service reduction.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“I am very glad that the Government is making a massive investment into transport here in London, and particularly up to £6billion on the Thameslink service.

“It is important, however, that stations such as Hornsey and Harringay also benefit from investment. In my submission, I am standing up for the many constituents who support the Lib Dem campaign against service reduction.

“Now the consultation has drawn to a close, I will be contacting the bidders and arranging meetings to make sure they are aware of the strength of opinion in Hornsey and Wood Green. I’d like to thank everyone who responded to my survey.”

More time to have your say on the future of Haringey’s rail services

Haringey Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP have welcomed news that a Government consultation on the future of local rail services will be extended due to high public interest.

The consultation, asks for views on the future of the “Thameslink” franchise, and will directly affect railway services at Bowes Park, Alexandra Palace, Hornsey, Harringay and Finsbury Park. Due to high public demand, the consultation has now been extended until September 14th.

Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, has been leading efforts to ensure that local stations do not miss out on £6 billion of Government money. The investment will be welcome news for London rail users, but there is a danger that some stations in the borough may miss out due to shorter platforms. Lynne has written to thousands of local households informing them of the consultation, and will be meeting with Transport Ministers to discuss the changes.

Lynne comments, “Local people are very concerned that stations like Hornsey and Harringay could miss out on vital investment in future services.”

“I urge all local rail users to respond to our consultation at my website. I will pass on your views to Ministers when I meet with them after the consultation closes.”

Richard Wilson, Leader of Haringey Liberal Democrats comments, “I am delighted that the Government has chosen to extend this consultation. Our campaign to raise awareness of the consultation is clearly working, and I’m glad that the Government has responded to this.”

Your views on improving our rail services locally!

Good news for our rail system! The coalition is making a massive investment into transport here in London and specifically up to £6billion on the Thameslink service. That is going to have a major impact on some of our local stations. Alexandra Park, Bowes Park, Hornsey, Harringay and Finsbury Park stations are the ones to be aware of locally.

I’m pleased to see that a consultation is to be sought, as it gives local residents and passengers of these services the chance to have their voices heard on the subject.

The investment is to reduce overcrowding and improve services at those stations from 2018. The idea is longer trains and more trains – and the plan could also deliver new destinations like St Pancras, Farringdon and London Bridge as well as current destinations like Kings Cross and Moorgate.

Of course – there may be a fly in the ointment for some of the stations. For example, the restructuring of the services could reduce the number of trains stopping at Hornsey & Harringay stations – which not surprisingly – is unlikely to be popular with local people using those particular stations.

This is because the proposal includes increasing the size of the trains on the service to 12 carriages, and stations like Hornsey & Harringay are only large enough for trains with up to 6 carriages. As the franchise is likely to be granted increased commercial freedom for this development contract, it may decide to reduce the number of services to Hornsey & Harringay to accommodate this.

It important to remember that the proposal is still at consultation stage and that is why I want to here your views on what should happen to train services at Bowes Park, Alexandra Palace, Hornsey, Harringay and Finsbury Park: Are the trains regular and reliable enough? Who should manage the trains and stations? Are the times of first and last trains OK?

I am in the process of arranging a meeting with Transport Ministers to make the case personally on behalf of local people so please just email me at

With your help I can make sure that our local transport services are protected and ensure local passengers beenfit from the new investment.


Oyster Pay As You Go finally comes to Alexandra Palace Station

Finally, after a long campaign to get Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG) to work from tube to overground trains – we have lift off. To test the reality of Oyster being extended on Haringey’s train services, I went to Alexandra Palace Station to have a go (before the snow!). It worked – I tapped in and I tapped out! Here’s the clip:

(Also on YouTube here.)

So that’s the very good news at long last. However, the bad news is that if you have a Travelcard with limited zones and you want to go beyond them, you will need another electronic card – an Oyster Extension Permit.

This is unnecessarily complicated and First Capital Connect should have been able to come up with another solution. But given it is the system – and whilst I don’t wish to be overtly rude – First Capital Connect must be mad. You have to purchase an Oyster Extension Permit, but they are not going to be sold from ticket offices at overland stations!

Yes, that’s right – if you want this sort of ticket to use the trains, the train company won’t sell it to you.

Instead you will have to buy them at tube stations or at corner shops which carry the Oyster sign. It’s as if First Capital Connect doesn’t actually want people to get hold of the card!

Anyway it’s a New Year, and this is basically a good news story, so I will temporarily stop railing at First Capital Connect and end on that bad pun.

Liberal Democrats welcome news of Oyster Pay As You Go on trains from January

After a long-running campaign to enable local residents to use their Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG) cards on overland trains in Haringey, local Liberal Democrats have welcomed the news that the scheme will finally go live from the 2nd January 2010.

Although welcoming the long-awaited news, local MP Lynne Featherstone has today raised concern over the complicated details of the scheme. From January travelcard holders will need to get an extra electronic permit if travelling outside their travelcard zone making the scheme “unwieldy and overcomplicated” Lib Dems say.

The Oyster Extension Permit (OEP) system means that any residents with an Oyster travelcard, who need to travel outside their travelcard zone, will have to obtain an OEP before travelling to avoid having to pay a penalty fare. The OEP will not be available at train stations, but only from Oyster card retailers, like local shops, and from the ticket office at tube station.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP has written to the London Mayor, Transport for London and First Capital Connect, to demand that the OEP system be dropped and for a simpler system to be introduced.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“It’s great that we will finally be able to swipe in with Oyster Pay As You Go from January. This is long-awaited news and will make it easier for residents to use the trains.

“But sadly the system that the Mayor has negotiated with the train companies is unwieldy, confusing and overcomplicated. The idea of this Oyster Extension Permit is frankly ludicrous.

“I have raised this issue with the Mayor, TfL and the train company. Hopefully this absurd idea can be dropped.”

Cllr Martin Newton, Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson, adds:

“If you have to travel outside the zones paid for with your Oyster travel-card, you first need to go to a shop or a tube station to get this electronic permit. That means an extra trip and extra complication, and goes against the logic of using Oyster – which is meant to provide easier ticketing.”

One hour bus ticket campaign

Was out campaigning in Wood Green over the Bank Holiday as part of a London-wide Liberal Democrat campaign to get a one hour Oyster bus ticket introduced – the idea being, you pay for one hour travel and can hop on and hop off as many different buses as you need during that one hour without having to pay for a new ticket each time:

(You can also watch this video on the YouTube website.)

It’s the sort of thing that’s popular and effective in many other cities. It’s also just the sort of policy that’s win all round: it would stop people being put off those journeys where at the moment you run up the costs by having to change a lot, so encouraging more bus use, but also by taking a little bit of traffic off our roads, it would help everyone else needing to use the roads too.

If you agree – do sign our petition at

Good news, good news, good news

Lynne Featherstone with residents of Westpoint, Clarendon Road, celebrating their parking permit successOne – during the week my Liberal Democrat colleagues on Haringey Council got a motion through for Haringey Council to opt-in to the Sustainable Communities Act. The act in itself is really only a tool to open up future possibilities – but now we’re well on the way to being able to do that.

Two – parking permit problems for residents in Clarendon Road sorted out.

Three – Transport for London (TfL) have now promised that we will be able to use Oyster Pay As You Go on trains by September. Easier train travel, here we come!

Many thanks to everyone who backed the campaign on this – I’ve no doubt the public pressure make a big, big difference.

Success as TfL promises Oyster PAYG by September

After months of dithering and half-promises, Transport for London (TfL) bosses this week gave Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone cast iron guarantees that residents will be able to use Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG) on trains by September.

The long awaited assurances came as the local MP presented the TfL bosses with hundreds of postcard petitions returned by local residents in support of the Liberal Democrat campaign. Ian Brown, Managing Director for London Rail emphasised that the scheme would not have gone ahead, had it not been for pressure from Lynne Featherstone, Haringey residents and other campaigners across London.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“I’m absolutely delighted that Oyster Pay As You Go will definitely go ahead by September. This has been such a long-running saga and too many half promises have gone unfulfilled.

“Being able to use Oyster on the trains will make it so much easier for people to hop on the train when going into town. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported the campaign. We did it, and it’s really down to the strong support from local residents.”

Extending Oyster Pay As You Go

Started the day campaigning at Alexandra Park Station to bring in Oyster Pay As You Go as soon as possible.

As well as Nigel Scott (our candidate for the by-election in Alexandra ward) and Alexandra Councillors Susan Oatway, Dave Beacham – we also had Caroline Pidgeon who is our Transport Spokesperson on the London Assembly and Denys Robinson Chair of London Region – so it was a big do!

Loads of people took our little petition postcard – so we will be able to keep up pressure on Transport for London (and the Train Operator) who have been a bit tardy with stations north of Finsbury Park in terms of Oyster PAYG. And other Liberal Democrat councillors were out at other stations like Harringay, Hornsey, Bowes Park etc. Onward and upward.

Then visited a delightful supported housing scheme in Wood Green – Raj Kunj – for residents of Asian community. They were so nice and raised lots and lots of issues – chief amongst which is the very short time the lights at the crossing outside their building allows them to get across the main road. Traffic comes whizzing down the main road – very dangerous I think.