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From our County Councillor, Nick Darby :  

Happy New Year everyone ! 

With the annual increases in rail fares effective from the beginning of January, now is perhaps the time to reflect on the current performance of South Western Railway, and what we might expect from now on.

Following on from some excellent exchanges between local residents and the Managing Director of SWR, involving our Chairman Graham Cooke, and culminating in a lengthy phone conference I had with the M.D. in early December, I am delighted to say that SWR have agreed to attend our Association's Open Meeting on 29 January to explain their performance and give us all the chance to question them. The battle at the start was about SWR not providing any service to Thames Ditton or Hampton Court on strike days, and (until we got involved) an unwillingness to provide a replacement bus service.

However, on 29 January, the meeting will be open for us all to raise any issues of concern, hear from SWR about how they will address them, and to query their replies. I set out a list of possible items below, but we would very much like to hear from you too with your own questions. Our wish is to provide a list to SWR in advance so they can provide a considered and meaningful response. We want them to improve and to understand fully our thoughts and frustrations.

As a starter :-

Rail replacement bus service continuation

Trains on strike days

Shuttle-train service on strike days and other disruption days

Explanation of strikes

Reasons for frequent points and signal failure between Wimbledon and Clapham and at Waterloo

Communication at Waterloo when significant disruption - management seems to disappear

Thames Ditton station litter along embankment on Esher College side

Esher station issues, eg. litter, lack of lighting, bridge maintenance

Improvements re compensation claims, and explanation of changes to scheme

Reasons for morning and evening congestion and delays

Your thoughts are most welcome, ideally to Graham (chairman@residents-association.com)
or me (nick.darby@surreycc.gov.uk).

I look forward to seeing you at our Open Meeting, 29 January, 8.00pm at the Vera Fletcher Hall, 4 Embercourt Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0LQ.

Nick Darby