Isleworth Councillor Campaigning Against Train Service Cuts

Number of trains between Twickenham and Waterloo to be reduced

Isleworth councillors Daanish Saeed, Salman Shaheen and Sue Sampson
Isleworth councillors Daanish Saeed, Salman Shaheen and Sue Sampson


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Isleworth councillor Salman Shaheen is joining the efforts to persuade South Western Railway (SWR) to abandon its proposed service cuts including those on the line between Twickenham and Waterloo .

SWR and Network Rail have launched a stakeholder consultation that proposes to cut 15 per cent of peak and off-peak services across the SWR Network from December 2022.

The changes will see a reduction of 13% of peak services into London and a 14% cut if off peak service and mainline suburban trains from December 2022.

SWR claims the changes are designed to increase the reliability of services into Waterloo. They are part of a broader reduction in services which the train company says are being introduced as the experience during the pandemic confirmed to it that running fewer trains increases reliability.

Salman Shaheen, councillor for Isleworth on Hounslow Council and Chair of Brentford & Isleworth Constituency Labour Party, has written to South Western Railway to oppose plans to cut the number of trains on the service between Twickenham and Waterloo. The Hounslow Loop service will be unaffected.

Cllr Shaheen wrote, “Having lived on Twickenham Road and worked in the City, I can tell you the Twickenham to Waterloo route is a vital service for the commuters in the southern half of Isleworth. Isleworth ward is poorly served by public transport. It does not have a tube station and Isleworth railway station is only of use to those living in the northern half of the ward. For those living in the south of the ward, it is a half hour walk to Isleworth station. Twickenham station, which is around 15 minutes’ walk for those living in the south of Isleworth and is easily reachable via the 267 bus, is for many residents the only viable fast commute into central London.

“I would therefore urge you to consider the views of the many Isleworth residents I have heard from who are strongly opposed to this reduction in service. I hope you will take into account their views alongside those of residents across the border in Twickenham.”

Cllr Shaheen believes that railways should be run for the public good and not for profit.

He said, “Ultimately, when we have railways run by private companies for profit, they will always look to maximise their gains and this will often come at the expense of commuters who already have to put up with cramped conditions at exorbitant prices. This will push more people into cars at a time when we need effective public transport to help us bring down CO2 emissions and improve air quality. The railways should be brought back into public ownership and run for the good of us all.”

He has received the support of Brentford & Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury who said on social media, “I share the concerns of Isleworth Cllr @SalmanShaheen about the proposed cuts to SWR trains & the impact it would have on local residents here in Hounslow.

“I wrote to SWR too in opposition to these cuts and I know that many other local residents are opposed.”

Cllr Shaheen previously led a campaign that saved the 110 bus route between the Ivybridge Estate and West Middlesex Hospital from being cut by TFL.

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September 24, 2021

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