Twenty FDVL members took the opportunity to meet Claire Ansley, EMT Route Manager (right) and Rob Cox, responsible for the new timetable (second right) at the Brunswick Inn, Derby on Tues 9th December.
Claire and Rob gave a short progress report on the first year of the EMT franchise, then fielded questions about the new timetable from FDVL members.
There was strong concern about the plans to operate single car Class 153's on the branch. Whilst the 0620 & 0737 from Matlock will be strenthened to 2 cars each, the return strengthened services from Derby in the evening will be the 1550 & 1850. FDVL Chairman Ian Ambrose said that these were the wrong trains, & that it represents a halving of capacity in the peak period.
Discussion also centred on the worsening of London connections at Derby, with a wait of 47 minutes now required between arrival from Matlock and London departure. FDVL urged East Midlands Trains to look at repositioning the hourly Matlock service within the clockface to improve overall connections.
Other topics discussed included the need for better integration with bus services, through ticketing and ticket offers to encourage off-peak travel.
Full minutes of the meeting will be available on this site later in December. FDVL have invited East Midlands Trains to the next open meeting on 10th February to discuss progress on meeting these concerns.
In the meantime we encourage members to write to EMT with all problems encountered with the new timetable but particularly capacity problems, connections and journeys offered when pre booking. Anyone who opts to drive or use alternatives the DVL are encouraged to write in and explain why