Rail users living in Grange and Winchmore Hill packed out a meeting to grill Govia on their plans to reduce the service to Grange Park station. Govia addressed the meeting that I had arranged and conceded that following the Stage 1 consultation, there would be no reduction in the service at Grange Park, and furthermore they will be introducing more peak and weekend trains and a modernised rolling stock.
Local Grange residents spearheaded the campaign and asked for my support when I was elected as their Member of Parliament in June 2017. Since then, I have met with the Rail Minister, representatives from Govia, and communicated to 2,000 households around Grange Park station. Govia met with myself and over 100 residents on Thursday 22nd February 2018, where they announced the good news that from May 2018 there would be no reduction in services as previously planned. They also announced an increase to four trains per hour at off peak times (including Saturdays), and that the 40-year-old rolling stock will have a complete overhaul and be replaced with six carriage trains just like the London Overground. From December 2018, the Sunday timetable will increase to four trains per hour.
Govia had been using inaccurate estimates of rail users because Grange Park station has no barrier to capture exact numbers. A station footfall count will now be undertaken to gather accurate data. There were also discrepancies in stopping times picked up by a resident and Govia will meet with them to go through the stopping times in fine detail. Govia has also confirmed that the shelter at the foot of the stairs at Winchmore Hill station on the Southbound platform, which is causing a safety issue when the platform is packed, will be removed to allow more space for commuters waiting for trains at peak times.
This campaign has shown me how my work as an MP can add that crucial final boost to great local campaigns and achieve results for thousands of people. Grange area is changing demographically and the working age population is growing. It’s a great area to live, a fantastic place to bring up children and a decent commutable distance to London for work. The rail link is vital to the area and all residents.
Bambos Charalambous, MP for Enfield Southgate