Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor has pressed for improvements after a meeting with London Northwestern Railway bosses.
Commuters from Watford Junction and Bushey station have faced cancellations and frequent disruption after the franchise introduced a new timetable in May 2019.
In a recent survey by the National Rail Passenger Survey, London Northwestern had seen the biggest fall in passenger satisfaction of any rail franchise in the country and second lowest satisfaction overall, second only to crisis hit Northern.
The operator, who bought in a new managing director last month, committed to significant improvements to the service after the meeting with the Mayor.
These included longer trains at rush hour, ‘carnet’ ticketing, new train stock next year, more services for Bushey when the new timetable is introduced in May and changes to the Abbey Line.
The changes to the Abbey Line include new modern more reliable ‘Class 350’ trains and a £250,000 investment to restoring the station facilities at Bricket Wood, including a heritage centre and facilities for commuters.
Liberal Democrat Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said, ‘For too long commuters in our town have had to put up with an extremely unreliable train service. I am pleased to hear that London Northwestern accept that things must improve. We must see improvements to the service so that people in our town can have a rail service that they can depend upon. I’ll continue to press LNWR bosses until we see a much better service. All people want is for a train service that is reliable and affordable. At the moment, they are not getting this.
‘We have already seen what has happened last week with Northern losing their franchise. If we do not see big improvements in this train service, the government must consider intervening. People using local train services deserve much better.’