Govia Thameslink, operator of the Southern and Thameslink routes, has published the results of its off-peak timetable consultation. The new schedule, still being finalised, is due to begin in December 2015.
- off-peak Reigate services to start and finish at London Victoria instead of London Bridge, but with faster journeys as some stops are omitted;
- new off-peak direct routes from Redhill to central London (including London Blackfriars and St Pancras)
- removal of direct off-peak Redhill services to the South Coast, meaning a change will need to be made at Gatwick Airport or Three Bridges; and
- better off-peak connections for journeys into Kent, including for Ashford International.
One change made following the consultation is to extend off-peak turnaround times at each of Reigate and Tonbridge to around 30 minutes. This was among the ideas put forward by the Reigate, Redhill and District Rail Users Association, to aid reliability.
A number of other Reigate/Redhill topics are discussed in the results document, including the removal of the direct off-peak links between Redhill and the South Coast.
The changes are being made ahead of completion of the Thameslink Programme in 2018. The aim across the wider network is to introduce new journey options, reduce travel times between London and South Coast destinations, and remove duplication on the Brighton Main Line while incorporating the Gatwick Express.
The results document says local changes are aimed at:
“Performance improvements throughout the route
Provide adequate capacity for the Redhill route
Introduce new journey opportunities between Redhill and St Pancras International in advance of 2018
Reduce journey times between Tonbridge, Reigate and London and retain existing journey times between Redhill and London”