So often it feels that train service provision at weekends is an afterthought. How often have we been stuck using rail replacement buses at the weekend? If I never see Newbury Park tube station again it will be too soon!
Of the four days over the next few weeks where there will be strikes on Greater Anglia lines two will be on a Saturday. I appreciate that everything should be done to avoid disruption Mon-Fri but disruption at the weekend is not pain free. There are significant consequences for local businesses, people who want to get to work and to travel for leisure purposes. I was pleased that in response to my question the Transport Secretary said we need to move to a proper 7 day per week train service that we can rely on. I was also interested to hear the Secretary of State point out that post pandemic the biggest increases in customers coming back to use train services is actually at the weekend.
I appreciate the work Greater Anglia staff carry out; a number will be my constituents. I’ve met many at Ipswich station and I’ve always found them polite and courteous. This hasn’t always been the case at London Liverpool Street I must add!
However, the fact remains that many of my constituents who rely upon the train service will be greatly inconvenienced by this week’s strike activity and will also most likely be on salaries below that of the majority of those who are striking. This is something I’m sure some will find deeply frustrating.