Back in October, I met with Cllr Alan Preest, Lydney’s Town, District and County Councillor, and Forest of Dean constituent Sarah Taylor Phillips to discuss changes in train timetables due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
A number of CrossCountry services had been affected on the route that calls via Lydney. I had been relaying the concerns of constituents to both CrossCountry Trains and the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, in conjunction with my colleague, Monmouth MP David TC Davies MP.
In October I was pleased to announce that CrossCountry had committed to resume the morning departures from Chepstow at 0715 and Lydney at 0724 to Gloucester after the October half-term break, starting on Monday 2nd November 2020.
Although this was great news – only half the job was done.
Further to the good news in October, I am now pleased to announce that CrossCountry have informed me that from Sunday 16th May 2021, CrossCountry will be resuming their full normal timetable on services between Cardiff, Gloucester and Birmingham.
This includes the return of their 1625 departure from Gloucester as requested by parents and other stakeholders, to shorten the day for school children travelling home to Lydney and Chepstow. CrossCountry will also operate their 06:57 departure from Cardiff as a shuttle to Bristol Temple Meads, which we know is popular for connections at Severn Tunnel Junction.
As the easing of Coronavirus restrictions continue and we see more businesses, hospitality and leisure venues reopening, CrossCountry will be assessing demand and looking at further possible changes to their timetables to support this. Throughout this time, they will continue to follow Government guidance to ensure customers are safe when travelling.
This news will be of great help to both students and parents across the Forest of Dean, and I pay tribute to all who have worked so hard alongside me to see this outcome.