Thameslink

Campaigners celebrate as Thameslink is saved!

Campaigners were celebrating today as the Government bowed to pressure to save the Thameslink.

Following Network Rail proposals to terminate the much-used service at Blackfriars, rather than carrying on to St Pancras, St Albans and beyond, Sutton's Lib Dem Councillors and MPs launched a campaign to save the service.

The campaign collected hundreds of petition signatures and met with Rail Minister Simon Burns to make sure the voice of service users wasn't ignored.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, chair of Sutton Council's 'Save the Thameslink' group said:

"This is wonderful news. When I met the Minister before Christmas with our local MPs Paul Burstow and Tom Brake, we stressed how important this line was. Sutton needs to be connected beyond Blackfriars, and not just for commuters. Holidaymakers and businesses also benefit directly, and we are all helped by the economic boost that this connection gives us.

"All those using Thameslink services in the borough can now be reassured that trains will continue to go beyond Blackfriars rather than stop there. This is a victory for common sense!"

Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow added:

"The Thameslink service is a vital lifeline for Sutton. The new South East franchise in 2018 is a fantastic opportunity for us to get more frequent, more reliable services and I am delighted that we have been able to secure our Thameslink. The next step will be to keep the pressure up to make sure we can take advantage of this great opportunity."

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake said:

"There has often been a feeling that Outer London gets short-changed on transport, with the authorities more interested in people in Central London or commuting from outside the M25.

"This result shows what can happen when the community gets behind a campaign and makes their voices heard. We will now keep campaigning and fighting for a fair transport deal for Sutton."