SLOW trains in and out of a town are not a bad thing because they bring in more business, a campaign group says.
Chesham and District Transport Users’ Group recently invited London Underground’s Keith Foley, as well as town councillors and other groups in the town, along to the meeting with the aim of demonstrating the need to reinstate fast off-peak trains in the town.
In December 2010 TfL changed the Metropolitan Line timetable so that all off-peak trains to and from Chesham stop at every station, adding about 10 minutes onto the journey time to Baker Street.
Chesham TUG was therefore surprised when councillors and campaign group Better Chesham said at the meeting that the slower trains are a good thing for the town because they bring in more shoppers and tourism because of stopping at the extra stations.
Chesham TUG secretary Alan Wallwork said: “We were taken a bit by surprise when people said they didn’t mind the slower trains because they brought in business. I think they’re wrong. Chesham is a commuter town to London and people are London centrics and they want to go and shop and enjoy an evening’s entertainment there, so we should be doing what we can to speed them up, not slow them down.
“The stopping pattern is slowing down an already slow service – compare the journey time from Bicester North to London, which is quicker despite it being nearly three times farther from London than Chesham is.
“If you want to attract more people to the town then abandon the car parking charges.”
Co-founder of Better Chesham, which is looking into promoting Chesham more on the tube, Mick Carling said: “We’re quite happy with the fast trains in the rush hour to get commuters back and forth but we have a beautiful town right on the end of one of the most popular tube stations in London and people come out here to enjoy the countryside and the lovely old high street. We’re all for some slower trains, at least once an hour, to continue.”
Chesham TUG did welcome Mr Foley’ s proposal to run more faster trains in the morning and evenings, effectively extending the peak service.
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