Cambridge

The train timetable has changed and people can’t cope with the chaos

Cambridge Rail passengers endured a hellish start to the week yesterday (Monday 21), as a new timetable sparked delays, confusion and anger across the network.

There was major disruption across dozens of routes as seven times more alterations than normal were made to train schedules due to new services being launched.

More than four million trains across Britain were rescheduled today (Image: Getty Images Europe)

Rail customers across the south east of England were affected by the changes – and morning rush hour was dubbed "chaos" and a "shambles" by disgruntled commuters.

The affected routes include every train run by the UK's busiest franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) – which consists of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express.

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Cambridge Station

Many passengers on social media told stories of trains unexpectedly terminating, or arriving so full people were forced to sit on the floor.

One commuter said: “The worlds (sic) worst coordination at Cambridge station this morning.

“Full 4 car train to London from Kings Lynn terminated at Cambridge and no one told the 10.14 (which we were supposed to attach to) onward train to hold a few mins for passengers. All we could do was watch it leave.”

There were 'chaotic' scenes at Cambridge Station

Another described the 'chaotic scenes' at Cambridge Station.

They tweeted: “@GNRailUK @CambridgeNewsUK Re #newtraintimetables – any reason why all the fast trains from Cambridge to London Kings Cross leave from Platform 7 or 8 over the bridge?About time you opened the side entrances again to allow easier access to platforms to allow less chaotic scenes?”

North East Hertfordshire MP Sir Olvier Heald said he had also received complaints that there were no trains running from Royston to the capital, causing inconvenience to passengers.

He said “I feel for passengers who were prepared for the new timetable and then discovered the trains were not running from Royston to St Pancras.

Sir Oliver Heald MP (Image: PA)

"I have immediately asked for a full explanation and to know when this is to be remedied.”

Great Northern, which runs trains from London to Cambridge and Peterborough, said on its Twitter feed: "A reduced Great Northern service is expected until the end of the day.

"A short-term amended timetable is in place across the Great Northern network. This is resulting in a reduced service operating with trains being cancelled or revised.

Passengers have taken to Twitter as scores of trains have been cancelled (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

"Disruption is expected until the end of the day."

The timetable shake-up is designed to increase overall frequencies and reliability.

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New Thameslink trains from Cambridge

Many of the changes are a result of the £7 billion invested in the Thameslink programme in the south east, including rebuilding London Bridge station, new trains and track improvements.

GTR's new timetable was developed from scratch and was designed to tackle existing issues by extending stop times at busier stations and increasing turnaround times at destination stations.

The shake-up is designed to increase overall frequencies and reliability, but some passengers will find their regular journeys are no longer possible

There will be almost 400 additional GTR trains every day.

A spokesman said: "Despite some cancellations, passengers will benefit from an overall increase in capacity with immediate effect."

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