Chairman’s Report – November 2013
The year has been a very busy one but frustratingly there is little to show for the amount of hard work involved. For example, we highlighted the need to ease overcrowding on the Piccadilly Line by making the purpose built Heathrow Connect service more attractive. Our campaign was taken up by several resident’s associations in both Ealing and Hounslow, as well as Hounslow Council and the GLA member, Onkar Sahota. Sadly everyone’s efforts hit the buffers and I fear we must resign ourselves to waiting for Crossrail to take over the service.
To our great delight five additional trains have been allocated to FGW and this has enabled them to provide additional capacity at our local stations. Our campaign included meetings with two Ministers of Transport and several passenger surveys. However shortage of EPTUG volunteers makes it impossible to carry out follos up surveys.
Chiltern services continue to disappoint with little more than a Parliamentary service being provided at the Sudburys. Both Brent and Harrow Councils are united in seeking a better deal for locals. Perhaps Ealing would join them and help accelerate the day when TfL take over and provide a Metro service.
Improvements to the bus network continue to disappoint for
even though fares have continued to rise, no new services have been trialled
and few increased frequencies have been made. There has been no further
investment in local Countdown signage and bus stops moved to accommodate the bendi bus have still not been restored to their former more
customer friendly sites. EPTUG has continued to be represented on the
London Overground appears to be working well and shows what can be done.
Crossrail continues to occupy our time and we are delighted to know that local views about lifts and the gate line at Ealing Broadway Station have been accepted by Crossrail. This success is in no small measure due to the interest shown by both Ealing Council’s involvement and the leadership shown by Angie Bray MP who chairs a wide reaching committee. We continue to monitor other stations but we are deeply concerned that our local MP in the West of the Borough, totally committed to saving Ealing Hospital, has been unable to take time out to show a closer interest in his constituency’s local stations where major rebuilds are needed.
The committee has, as I hope this report shows, have been very active on your behalf, but we are few in number. Both Brian and Simon have faced major health problems and the rest of us are all one year older. Simon, a founder member and the mainstay of the committee is stepping down an will not be offering himself for re-election. Each member of the committee gives as much time to EPTUG as they are able and I greatly appreciate all that they do. Perhaps you could join them?