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Termination of Watford Brighton Service at Clapham

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The Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, M.P., Secretary of State for Transport, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR Termination of West London Line services at Clapham Junction Dear Mrs Kelly We are deeply dismayed and disappointed by the proposal, contained in Southern\'s draft timetable consultation document, to withdraw the Watford Junction to Brighton service and replace it with services terminating at Clapham Junction. We regard this as more than a local timetabling matter, and one that requires you to intervene. In fact we believe that your Department may be partially responsible for these proposed cuts. We regard the loss of services south of Clapham Junction as a hugely retrograde step when demand on this line is strong and growing. The proposal is made all the more regrettable by the absence of a robust justification for it. Our main concern about terminating at Clapham Junctionis that it will massively increase the numbers of rail passengers making the difficult and potentially hazardous interchange at Clapham Junction\'s Platform 17, which is completely unsuitable for this function. Even when lifts are installed, it will remain completely inaccessible for disabled passengers who currently enjoy reasonable facilities at other stations. It will also result in the loss of an important link between major destinations like Watford, Wembley Stadium and Gatwick Airport. The service is used by many residents across London, Hertfordshire, Surrey, and Buckinghamshire and further afield. Every effort should be made to preserve the service to Brighton, or at the very least, to Gatwick Airport. Passengers living on the route of the West London Line, or those who access it from the West Coast Main Line, and wishing to travel by rail to the country\'s second largest airport, will be left with a much poorer option of either travelling via the M25, or. Travelling through central London. The difficulty of travelling through both Euston and Victoria stations, and on the Victoria Line, with luggage is readily apparent today, and is likely to get worse while the major rebuilding works at these stations are progressing. There is a real concern that faced with this, passengers will simply opt to get into their cars. It is also very shortsighted to end of the only direct rail link between the National Stadium at Wembley and an airport. We cannot see how cutting this service can be reconciled with your department\'s responsibilities to encourage the use of public transport, reduce congestion in London, and improve facilities for the disabled. We look forward to your intervention in this matter, and assurance that sufficient trains will be made available for Southern to be able to continue this valuable service. Yours Sincerely Watford Junction - Gatwick Airport- Brighton service users Councillor Dinesh Solanki Harrow Council Queensbury Ward P.O.Box 2 Civic Center Station Road Harrow HA1 2UH


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