Proposals to deliver more and faster trains for Hampshire passengers moved a step closer last week.
South Western Railway published the main outcomes of its December 2018 timetable consultation, with peak service calls at Fleet and Hook among the key issues addressed in the document.
North East Hampshire MP Ranil Jayawardena welcomed the protection of four peak services per hour from Hook, Winchfield and Fleet after more than 3,300 residents signed a petition launched by the MP.
More than 850 residents also signed and returned his special consultation response card urging SWR not to reduce services in the area.
No stations in the area will now have fewer peak services than they currently operate.
Mr Jayawardena said: “This is good news for hard working people.
“Following my petition, I’m delighted that SWR have listened and have protected our local services.
“If our local services had been reduced, it would have pushed more people into their cars, on to the roads around Fleet, Farnborough and Basingstoke – not good for anyone – so thanks to everyone who signed my petition.
He added that recent reliability on the line “has been appalling, we need more and better seats, and current smart ticketing isn’t smart enough”.
Train planners have been reviewing the comments and making changes since the consultation closed at the end of last year.
Andy Mellors, South Western Railway managing director, said: “I am grateful to everyone that participated in the consultation.
“We recognise that this major timetable change will have a significant impact on our customers and the communities we serve.
“We have listened to, and where possible acted upon, the feedback we have been given, and I believe now have an improved plan which will deliver a better railway.”
Mr Mellors added that “it has not been possible to meet every aspiration” addressed in the feedback, including the most common response to retain certain station stops.
The final proposals were produced in partnership with the Department for Transport.
Full timetables are expected to be published later this year once Network Rail has completed its review.