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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

New Thameslink weekend timetable consultation - no trains to Brighton on Sundays!!

Hi,

I've spotted (via an email from Gatwick Express) that there is consultation on now regarding weekend trains on the new Thameslink line from Finsbury Park & also a number of related lines - see the website for details: https://www.transformingrail.com

Apparently they have already done two rounds of consultation on the weekday timetable (did anyone see this?).

The main thing I've noticed is that on Saturdays there are planned to be trains from Finsbury Park to Horsham (2 per hour via Gatwick Airport), Brighton (2 per hour via Gatwick airport) & Maidstone East (these trains are not on the on-line timetable, but are on the downloadable pdf).

However, on Sundays there are planned to be no trains to Brighton as the trains will terminate at Gatwick Airport or Horsham (1 per hour for each, according to the pdf timetable). 

If anyone else thinks that Sunday is a good day for travelling to Brighton, then now would be a good time to put in a response!!

Tags for Forum Posts: Harringay, Hornsey, Trains, stations, thameslink

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Presumably the St Pancras to Brighton service is not affected?, if not, that is probably their excuse for cutting one out.

It says that the feedback is for phase 3 and talks about it like it's already implemented...

As far as I understand it, it's saying that this phase 3 consultation is for weekend services, while consultations 1&2 were for weekday services.

Note that there is a detailed 'phase 3' consultation document linked from this page:

https://www.transformingrail.com/the-story-so-far

FYI, I've just sent this email to the consultation enquiry email:

I saw reference to your phase 3 consultation in an email I happened to get from Gatwick Express. I live near Harringay Station, with my closest new Thameslink station being Finsbury Park.
I was very surprised to see that there had already been two consultations on the service, as I had seen no sign of this. I don’t travel very often from Harringay & I rarely use the train platforms at Finsbury Park (I use the tube there a lot though).
Given that part of the justification of the very expensive Thameslink Programme was to open up new journeys from Finsbury Park & the stations to the North of it across London to the south, it seems surprising that there has been no consultation activity visible at all in this area.
For example, we have an active & award winning local site - http://www.harringayonline.com which has had nothing on it regarding these two consultations. There was an extensive discussion on the site in 2012 regarding the franchise - http://www.harringayonline.com/forum/topics/thameslink-franchise-co... - but then nothing until now.
When looking at the current consultation I was particularly surprised to see that it is proposed that there are no trains from Finsbury Park (& north of it) to Brighton on a Sunday, as the services will terminate at Three Bridges.
Given that Brighton is an important weekend destination this seems extraordinary. A huge amount of money has been spent on creating a new route, and then it has been decided that it should not be available for most leisure travel. 40% of visitors to Brighton arrive by train, so a new service would be likely to have an impact [see https://www.visitbrighton.com/dbimgs/Brighton%20and%20Hove%20Visito...].
I wonder if one reason for this proposal is the fact that your consultation strategy (and maybe your modelling?) seems to be focussed on existing routes rather than the opportunities created by new routes.
How have you modelled demand for new services to Brighton, for example - and how did you conclude that a Sunday service from Finsbury Park & north of it was not a good use of resources?

FYI, following on from this I eventually got an assurance that there should be two trains per hour to Brighton on a Sunday from December 2018; the termination at Three Bridges & one train an hour is just  'initially' from May 2018.

It looks like this may be linked to the fact that Network Rail are rolling out a new signalling system around Brighton in summer 2018 - see section 3.9 of the recent NAO report on phased introduction of the new Thameslink services. This report basically says that "The Department and Network Rail did not initially make adequate arrangements to manage the introduction of the new services", and that "In October 2017, the Department approved a proposal it had requested from Govia Thameslink to introduce the new services planned for 2018 more gradually, with the final increase in services occurring in December 2019."

A quick glance at the phase 3 proposals also seems to suggest that at peak times there will be fewer trains stopping at Hornsey/Harringey. It seems there hasn't been any joined-up thinking with the council's push for large residential developments along the line, which will need a more frequent service, not less.

Eg. between 8am and 8.30am on weekdays, there are currently 5 trains stopping at Hornsey/Harringey.

From 2018, there will only be 4 trains.

https://www.transformingrail.com/timetables?origin=HRN&destinat...

There's a 7:59....

That replaces the 7:53 train.

See the text on that link: "Peak trains between Welwyn Garden City and Moorgate will not call at Harringay or Hornsey."

There are still 8 trains there between 7:32 and 8:29. That text is to do with the stopping of Stevenage trains until 2021. There are always peak services that are fast between Moorgate and Alexandra Palace but they're usually Stevenage trains.

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