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Lib Dems launch petition to restore rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley, and oppose Government-backed proposals to make pandemic cuts permanent

August 9, 2021 10:00 AM
PK at Leatherhead station

Paul Kennedy at Leatherhead station where services are at risk

Epsom and Mole Valley Liberal Democrats have launched a petition to restore South Western Railway (SWR) rail services via Epsom and Mole Valley to pre-pandemic levels, and to abandon proposals, published "in partnership" with the Conservative Government, to make pandemic cuts to these services permanent from December 2022.

The proposals would halve SWR's off-peak services via Bookham and Dorking to just one an hour, and SWR's peak hour services via Dorking to just two an hour, compared with pre-pandemic levels. There would be commensurate cuts to services through Leatherhead, Ashtead and Epsom, between Epsom and Guildford, and to connecting services across Surrey.

SWR, in partnership with Network Rail and the Government, have launched a consultation on making SWR cuts to rail services through Epsom and Mole Valley permanent from December 2022. The consultation closes on 19th September 2021: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/timetables/timetable-consultation-december-2022

Cllr Paul Kennedy, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Mole Valley, said:

"This is an unprecedented and discriminatory attack on Epsom and Mole Valley's rail users, which undermines our efforts to restore jobs and local communities after the pandemic, promote active travel, secure adequate infrastructure for new housing, reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and fight climate change.

"These deeply flawed proposals use 'congestion' to justify even off-peak cuts. They take no account of the wider implications for connectivity, for example to other rail and bus services and between Epsom and Guildford. Yet they could not have been published without Government agreement.

"Almost every other rail service across Surrey which has been cut during the pandemic is set to be restored by December 2022. We all need to tell the Conservative Government that these cuts are unacceptable, and that Epsom and Mole Valley residents should not miss out on promises to build back better."

Click here to sign the petition