The Parish Council recently wrote to Chiltern Railways to express councillors’ disappointment at the further reduction of morning commuter services to London, the company having axed the former 07:55 train to Bicester and London Marylebone. However, following correspondence with Chiltern, the council has been pleased to receive reassurance from a company spokesperson that the December 2021 timetable will introduce an equivalent service, albeit at a somewhat later time.
Customer service officer at Chiltern Railways’ managing director’s office, Martin Howard, said:
“Since the start of the pandemic passenger numbers have plummeted, originally down to around five percent of normal, and now back up to roughly 40% of normal. We are currently running just over 80% of the total number of train services that we used to, and every station now has a different train timetable to what was in place before March last year.
“The train that used to form the 07:55 from King’s Sutton no longer runs at all and there are currently no longer any plans for it to be reinstated, as the reason it was originally introduced – to reduce crowding on another service – no longer exists. We have been in separate correspondence with a resident of King’s Sutton regarding the same matter. Following receipt of that correspondence, our train planning team have looked into the matter.
“As a direct consequence, I am pleased to confirm that we will be reintroducing a call on a southbound train at King’s Sutton in the December 2021 timetable change, which will be at about 08:35. In the meantime, customers for whom the 06:36 departure is not convenient, are able to travel on any of the 07:09, 07:44 or 08:17 departures to Banbury, from where trains to London are available. Tickets from Kings Sutton to London are valid via Banbury.”