Faster train service for Camberley

The following text is on Michael Gove’s website.  It’s been reported in several places already, but it’s sufficiently relevant to the Eye that we’re reproducing it here:

“Michael Gove today (Wednesday 26th April) spoke to representatives from First Group, the train company taking over the South Western Rail Franchise, to ensure changes were put in place to improve services for Surrey Heath residents.

“Last month, Michael organised a meeting with Surrey County Councillor, Mike Goodman, Surrey Heath Borough Councillor, Charlotte Morley, and the team leading the First Group bid, in order to demand quicker journey times from Camberley, Frimley and Bagshot to London.

“Their meeting followed extensive lobbying of Rail Minister Paul Maynard (see picture attached) to ensure whichever company secured the South Western Rail Franchise improved services from Surrey Heath.

“Today, in talks with First Group’s Bid Director, Owen Hazell, Michael secured guarantees that peak journey times from Camberley to London would be slashed by 16 minutes and off-peak times cut by 13-14 minutes.

“Speaking after their conversation, Michael said:

“”I’m delighted that First Group will make changes that should make commuters’ lives easier. The journey time from Camberley to London is ridiculously long, and cutting around a quarter of an hour off the journey to ensure it can be done in less than sixty minutes, is very welcome. This change would not have occurred without the dedicated work of Charlotte Morley and Mike Goodman in lobbying Government.”

“First Group also confirmed that new trains would not only be faster but equipped with wifi and at-seat charging points.

“Additional money will also be made available to improve station facilities. But no firm commitment was made to investing in Surrey Heath stations.

“Michael commented:

“”The next stage of our campaign will be ensuring we get the investment we need to improve station facilities, especially at Camberley and Ash Vale. Camberley Station desperately needs improvement, and access to Ash Vale needs to be improved, especially for those with mobility difficulties. I look forward to campaigning for the investment we need.”

The Eye’s photo accompanying this item dates from last year.  It shows the pavement sinking around the station – hence the striped tape, barrier and cone.  You can also just about make out the rusting steel panels that form the walls.  Michael Gove’s final paragraph is none too soon!

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9 thoughts on “Faster train service for Camberley

  1. Funny how an election can focus the mind, there hadn’t been any updates on his website for months, now apparently he’s doing things all over the place for his constituency.

  2. All well and good, but are the Camberley trains going to be direct trains to London or are we still going to have to change at Ascot I ask?

  3. I assume Michael Gove will claim a massive success in cutting journey times and improving rolling stock through Camberley and other local stations. Has he forgotten that we had modern rolling stock running through Camberley for several years which had air conditioning and toilets on board and WiFi. These were removed and replaced with crappy old south London commuter rolling stock which had none of the above. South West trains could not even be bothered rebranding / repainting the trains for a long time. They also made a press release saying that they were improving the service to customers (which I can only assume referred to increasing the number of cramped and uncomfortable seats available) and at the same time increased the train fare prices. I don’t remember Michael Gove making much of a fuss about it at the time? No surprise there then. He replied to my communication on the subject with a polite ‘thank you for your concern, now sod off’ type of letter. I basically stopped using the train service from Camberley after that and if I need the train just use Farnborough instead. Michael Gove does nothing for the community and god knows why people vote for him – he does not even live anywhere near his constituency and cares nothing about his constituents other than keeping his safe seat and furthering his own public image or…!!

  4. Oh, but he spends money here – he favours staying in Pennyhill Park when visiting …..

  5. I didn’t even know there was a borough councillor or a county councillor involved in the meetings. I didn’t see them at the public meeting and they certainly were not on our march from Frimley Station to Farnborough to protest at the slow service. Also, where’s the credit to the Camberley Society for arranging said meeting and march? Lets hope things improve because we’ve put up too long with a slow service and inferior trains to the ones we had before.

    • Oh, I think County Cllr Mike Goodman was pretty active; I’ve heard him speak on the subject. I’ve been in this sort of situation a few times. The reality is that the power and money to make actual change lies with the authorities and commerce. CamSoc lobbied, but, on its own, it really couldn’t do anything. Lobbying rarely attracts the headlines. I’ve ‘lost out’ that way in the past; CamSoc lost out this time. That’s how it is.

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