South Western Railways, the new franchise operator for Island Line and many other services in the South, is holding a public consultation on timetable changes to take effect from December 2018.
The company say the timetable consultation is a “major step on South Western Railway’s journey towards the delivery of improvements to services that we know customers want to see”.
Looking at the Portsmouth to London line, more trains would be included in the new timetable, which will please many. However, Isle of Wight commuters have raised grave concerns about the changes to the morning timetable from Portsmouth.
Emma Vodden, who catches the 6.15 train with many other commuters from the Island, says if the proposed timetable came into force it would lead to her and others being late for work.
The Isle of Wight to London commuters catch the first catamaran of the day – 5.47am – in order to meet the 6.15 train. If the proposed changes come into effect, she and her travelling mates will have to wait until 6.35 before leaving Portsmouth Harbour station bound for London.
The proposed changes
The table below shows how the Wightlink catamaran currently meets the train to London
|Cat departs||Cat arrives||Train|
Assuming Wightlink do not change their timetable (and if they did Island Line and possibly Southern Vectis timetables would need to change too), this shows how commuters will miss several of the trains by minutes
|Cat departs||Cat arrives||Train|
SWR: “Meeting with all of the ferry operators”
South Western Railway (SWR) say they are consulting with all the ferry companies on the proposed changes to their timetable.
A spokesperson told OnTheWight,
“We are meeting with all of the ferry operators to ascertain their future timetable proposals and our aim will be to align both to ensure as seamless a journey for all.
“We will take the comments all customers make into consideration along with those of the many stakeholders and community groups that have views on the proposals.”
Island Line consultation
We can expect a separate consultation for Island Line. The rail company states,
“There will be a separate, comprehensive consultation on the development of Island Line soon.
“We have added an earlier first train from Shanklin to Ryde each morning and we are working with the ferry and hovercraft operators to maintain connectivity between the Isle of Wight and mainland services.”
Changes to other lines
Of course, Islanders travel to many parts of the country, not just London, so the proposed changes to others lines may be of interest.
The changes will affect a number of lines operated by South West Railways, including
- Portsmouth to Fareham, Southampton and Weymouth
- Portsmouth Direct Line
- Brockenhurst to Lymington
- Salisbury, Romsey and Chandlers Ford to Southampton
- Ascot to Aldershot and Guildford
- Main Suburban Lines
- London to Woking, Guildford, Alton and Basingstoke
- South Western Main Line
- West of England
- Windsor Lines
All feedback will be taken into account
The spokesperson for SWR went on to say,
“We published the timetable consultation for the December 2018 services for customers to feedback their comments on what we have suggested in order to deliver on our capacity and journey time improvement plans.
“All of the comments and pieces of feedback will then be taken into account when developing the final proposal for submission to the DfT and Network Rail in 2018.”
The consultation closes on 22nd December 2017.
The consultation document can be read below or online.