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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 07:02 GMT
Commuters' concern over timetable
First Great Western
First Great Western say they carried out "extensive" consultations
Commuters have hit out at a reduction in some mainline rail services, planned for next month.

Changes to First Great Western's (FGW) services include reducing the number of trains between Newport and Bristol that stop at the Severn Tunnel Junction.

From 11 December, FGW's 1515 service from London Paddington will terminate in Cardiff rather than Swansea.

However the train operator said the changes had come after "extensive consultations" earlier this year.

One commuter, Simon Marshall, is part of a campaign group, which has opposed the changes to the services between Newport, Bristol and Bath.

"There will be a 34% reduction in service at Severn Tunnel Junction," he said.

Discontinued

According to the campaign Save Severn Tunnel the 0755 train from Severn Tunnel Junction to Bristol Temple Meads and also the 1650 and 1750 trains from Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Tunnel Junction will be discontinued from December.

Mr Marshall, who lives in Magor, Monmouthshire, travels daily to Bristol and he says he will be directly affected by the changes which he says will take place during commuting hours.

We all must do our little things for the environment - you want to encourage people to use the trains.
Sylvia Hawkins

He claims FGW are "forcing people on the roads".

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Mike German will be at Severn Tunnel Junction on Friday morning to discuss the changes with commuters.

Other changes by FGW include plans to terminate its 1515 London to Swansea train, which arrives in Cardiff at 1716.

People commuting further to Bridgend or Swansea will have to change at Cardiff for an Arriva Trains service.

Sylvia Hawkins, who lives in Margam near Port Talbot and works in Cardiff, is concerned about the impact the timetable changes will have on her working day.

She said: "My plan is to go on 11 December and try various things - and if none of them work it will have to be the car.

Responses

"The Arriva train at 1721 from Cardiff to Maesteg stops at Pencoed and Pontyclun before arriving at Bridgend where I park my car.

"We all must do our little things for the environment - you want to encourage people to use the trains."

Earlier this year, FGW consulted on a draft version of the December 2006 timetable for rail routes in southern England and south Wales.

A spokesperson said they had around 9,000 responses.

The company said it has been drawn up to meet the Department for Transport's requirements for the Great Western franchise.




SEE ALSO
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Panel gives rail commuters a say
16 Jul 06 |  England

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