diamond geezer

 Wednesday, December 08, 2010

PR Masterclass
Lesson 5: How to tell half the story


This weekend a brand new timetable begins on the Metropolitan line. The new service is good news for passengers living in Chesham, and bad news for passengers living in Amersham. TfL, however, have chosen to issue only one of the following press releases. Can you guess which?


Chesham trains to run direct into central London

London Underground (LU) services from Chesham will run direct into central London from Sunday 12 December.

This change is a result of a new Metropolitan line timetable which will enable London Underground to run more of the new, air-conditioned, longer trains which came into service in August.

At the moment, passengers travelling to and from Chesham during off peak periods have to change at Chalfont & Latimer. From Sunday, Chesham customers will have an interchange-free journey to and from London.

The changes follow consultation with local residents that took place back in 2008, which found the majority in favour of the change.

Angela Back, Metropolitan line General Manager, said: 'This is great news for customers travelling to and from Chesham outside of the rush hour. By eliminating the need to change at Chalfont & Latimer, customers will have a quicker and more convenient journey in to and out of central London.

'It will also mean that we are able to introduce more of the new walk-through, air-conditioned trains, which started serving part of the Metropolitan line earlier this year. The new trains are made up of eight cars which cannot be separated and are therefore unable to serve the bay road at Chalfont & Latimer station which the Chesham shuttle, which is made up for four carriages, currently serves.

'The new timetable will allow LU to run longer trains in and out of Chesham, all day, every day.'

The changes, which will not affect the current peak-time services, are as follows:
• Two trains per hour running direct between Chesham and central London throughout the day
• Two Metropolitan line trains per hour between Amersham and central London, instead of the present four. The two trains per hour service provided by Chiltern Trains (one train per hour on Sundays) would be unaffected, so the total number of trains from Amersham to central London would fall from six to four per hour (and from five trains to three per hour on Sundays)
 Fewer trains from Amersham into central London

Off-peak London Underground (LU) services from Amersham will be halved from Sunday 12 December.

This change is a result of a new Metropolitan line timetable which will prevent London Underground from running the old, comfortable trains which came into service almost 50 years ago.

At the moment, four trains an hour run between Amersham and Baker Street during off peak periods. From Sunday, and for the foreseeable future, two of these trains will be diverted to Chesham instead. Bad luck Amersham.

The changes follow consultation with local residents in 2008, which found the majority of Amersham residents opposed to the change.

Angela Back, Metropolitan line General Manager, didn't say: 'This is grim news for customers travelling to and from Amersham outside of the rush hour. By scrapping the Chesham shuttle, Amersham customers will have a poorer and less frequent journey in to and out of central London.

'It will also mean that we are able to introduce more of the new walk-through, air-conditioned trains, which have fewer seats and will mean more long-distance commuters having to stand. The new trains can't be chopped in half like the old ones, so we couldn't carry on running the current Chesham shuttle service even if we wanted to. All this talk of public consultation is a mere smokescreen.

'The new timetable will allow LU to run about 200 fewer trains in and out of Amersham every week.'

The changes, which will apply all week (apart from two hours on weekdays), are as follows:
• Only two Metropolitan line trains per hour between Amersham and central London, instead of the present four. The two trains per hour service to Marylebone (one train per hour on Sundays) would be unaffected. Amersham residents currently never have to wait more than 10 minutes for a train. In the future, miss the Chiltern service and they'll have to wait 20.
• The last Chesham shuttle runs on Saturday. But from Sunday onwards, it's Amersham that suffers.


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