The following letter has been released by the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP to his Welwyn Hatfield constituents today:

September 2018

Dear Welwyn Hatfield resident,

Since May 2018, Welwyn Hatfield commuters have suffered from an appalling service at the hands of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) with increased journey times, countless delays and an unacceptable reduction in trains.

However, even if the implementation of this new timetable had gone entirely to plan, Welwyn Hatfield has still lost out. The purpose of re-organising the schedule was to add 6,000 more carriages to the overall train network. In principle each area should therefore be experiencing more trains and services. Instead, Welwyn Hatfield has moved backwards and this is completely unacceptable to those of us who rely on the trains.

Having pored over the timetables, I have now pieced together what I think are the fundamental problems with the new schedule. But before I take this to the desks of the bosses at Govia and demand our services back, I want to ensure this information is as accurate as possible. And that’s where I need your help!

If you or someone you know has been affected by the rail chaos, please could you look at the document attached and alert me if I have not fully captured the change in timetable that has caused the problem.

With best wishes,



The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP


P.S. There is a month’s free travel available to those who suffered the post-May timetable chaos. I specifically requested that this be extended to non-season ticket holders who travelled at least 3 times a week. The Secretary of State agreed and details of both schemes can be found here

The following ‘Missing Trains‘ document can also be downloaded from here.