Local MPs have met with the Rail Minister Paul Maynard to lobby the Government about the possible loss of the train service between Hertford North & Stevenage for up to seven years. Sir Oliver Heald MP, Mark Prisk MP, and Stephen McPartland MP told the Minister that losing the service for seven years was completely unacceptable.
The MPs have held a series of meetings over the last year with both Network Rail and Govia Thameslink to try and find a solution to the problem. The temporary closure of the rail service is part of essential works to provide improvements to the track capacity and number of trains per day over the longer term. However all three MPs have made clear that to replace the train for seven years would seriously impact not just on local workers, but also those needing treatment in local hospitals and many school children. The MPs also reiterated their call for GTR to be stripped of the contract.
The Minister has agreed to review all the engineering works to see whether the works can be rescheduled in a way that would minimise the impact on local people’s essential journeys. He has agreed to report back to the three MPs first thing in September.