Peak-time fast trains to London will return, rail minister tells Bedford MP

Bedford Train at Station

The Minister of State for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris has written to the Bedford & Kempston MP, Mohammad Yasin, to confirm that peak-time services will be reintroduced to the December timetable.

In the new timetable, half hourly fast trains will run between Bedford and Kings Cross St Pancras, including during peak hours around the morning and evening rush hours.

This is welcome news to Bedford’s many commuters.

At a meeting earlier this month, the minister could not make a commitment that the peak-time service would resume.

Read: Fears over peak-time train ‘back-tracking’ as MP for Bedford meets rail minister

However, in the follow-up letter he says, “The December 2020 timetable change will see the reintroduction of East Midlands Railway (EMR) peak service calls at Bedford.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bedford passengers who have been adversely affected by the interim changes, which had to be made to enable the introduction of the Govia Thameslink May 2018 timetable, and their patience while infrastructure enhancements were completed to enable these services to be reinstated.

“EMR are proposing two trains per hour to and from Bedford throughout the day and evenly spread, approximately 30-minute intervals.”

In a message on his Facebook page, Mr Yasin MP said, “I am pleased to see that [the minister] has now confirmed they will be reintroduced in the December timetable and the bus service operating between Bedford and Wellingborough will be removed.

“Unfortunately, there was no movement on the downgrading of the northbound services which will require changes at Kettering – though the station will be improved..

“He did not mention anything about ticketing or rising rail fares and did not address my concerns about the failure of the franchising system.”

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