New Overground timetable with more trains welcomed by Mayor of Hackney
PUBLISHED: 11:20 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:20 31 December 2019
A new timetable for Overground trains running through Hackney Central has been welcomed by the Mayor of Hackney, after he demanded the service must improve over the summer.
Along with the Mayor of Tower Hamlets and MPs including Meg Hillier, he complained about "concerning" levels of delays, cancellations and trains skipping stations.
Now there are 10 trains an hour running in each direction at peak periods, up from eight - meaning that trains are scheduled to run from Richmond and Clapham Junction to Stratford every six minutes rather than every eight.
Just last month council analysis of data has revealed there were cancelled trains on the service almost every during a two-week period, with 14 peak periods out of 20 affected by cancellations.
Thirteen of the peak periods were affected by more than one cancellation, and on four occasions, four services were cancelled during any one peak time.
There are two peak periods each day from 6.30am to 9.30am and from 4pm to 7pm.
Operator Arriva Rail cited power supply issues, problems with trains and "unexpected passenger loads" for causing delays on one day.
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When trains missed stations in Hackney or were cancelled entirely, the reason was mostly because trains were already running late.
A spokesperson for TfL told the Gazette there were "lots of problems on that line that were out of their control that week", including a UK Power Network outage and the collapse of a bridge.
Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, said: "While we welcome the new Overground timetable, which will see trains run every six minutes from stations in Hackney, it's concerning that just last month the service was affected by so many delays.
"I have been assured by TfL that the new timetable will resolve these issues and end the frustration of so many commuters at Hackney Central over the last year."
Bosses at TfL hope the additional trains will allow a "more even service" to operate on both branches at peak times.
Rory O'Neill, TfL's general manager for London Overground, said: "Customer numbers continue to grow on these routes and these additional trains will help ensure we can continue meet growing demand."
Hackney's transport chief Cllr Jon Burke said that the Overground delays and cancellations on top of the recent cuts to bus services, compounded the ability of many in Hackney to get around.
"Increasing journeys made by public transport is crucial if we're to reduce the land transport pollution driving the climate emergency - but this will only happen if bus and train services are effective and reliable," he said, vowing to continue monitoring train performance.