Matthew Offord has been elected Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Thameslink. Over 20 MPs have a direct interest in the Thameslink line as it runs through or nearby their constituency but Matthew was elected Chairman, with Tom Brake (Lib Dem) and Gavin Shuker (Labour) being elected as Vice Chairmen of the Group.
The importance of Thameslink is known to the thousands of people who use it but it is also important to the millions of people who use the Northern Line as improvements will provide relief from overcrowding. By December of this year there will be 12 car trains operating on the whole route, with 16 trains an hour at peak times. In addition, the Group will seek further improvements through discussions with Government Transport Ministers. They will raise constituents’ concerns about the service, staffing issues with FCC to ensure this year’s problems do not happen again, the refurbishment programme with Network Rail and also inspect rolling stock to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers.
Matthew commented “Earlier this year many commuters in Mill Hill and Hendon were plagued by staff at First Capital Connect working to rule. I resolved that if elected as Hendon’s MP I would do more than just send a few emails. Becoming Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Thameslink is the first visible action of my commitment to improve the service. This will not only help people in Hendon but also people across London as upgrades are completed at Farringdon station, Blackfriars station and London Bridge linking Thameslink with Crossrail, St Pancras International and the rest of the country. By 2017 there will also be an additional 60,000 seats each day on the line – and that will help local people get a seat on the way to work.”
Photo caption: Matthew at Mill Hill Broadway station scrutinizing the Delivering Thameslink strategy.