COMMUTERS from Andover Railway Station have been left frustrated by a lack of train services direct to London.

South Western Railway (SWR) has reduced the number of services from one every half hour to one every hour after rush hour.

The train operator originally reduced the services during the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has since made the reduced timetable permanent, leaving many frustrated.

Ian Lambourne, 45, said: “I’ve lived in Andover on and off for the last 40 years, and the service now is worse than it was 20 years ago.

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“It should be two trains an hour direct to London, which it’s not.

“The service has got worse, and there’s been no effort to make it any better.”

Meanwhile, lecturer Jessie Bustillos, 38, said that the reduced service has affected her “massively”.

She continued: “I commute to Oxford, so my trains are now slower.

“I wait longer at Basingstoke because there are fewer trains, so instead of 15 minutes, there’s a half an hour wait at Basingstoke to get to Oxford.

“I commute twice or three times a week, and it just means that I’ve had to change my lecture times to be able to get to work on time.”

However, the changes to the train timetable have not affected everyone.

Tim Gerrard said that the reduction of services had not really affected him since he retired.

He continued: “I don’t go up to London on a regular basis, so it doesn’t really affect me.”

Meanwhile, Pearl Ball, 81, said that the changes did not affect her or her husband.

She said: “It doesn’t affect us; we’ll find a train easy enough.”

A spokesperson for SWR said: “Our current service levels adequately match customer demand on this part of the network, but SWR and Network Rail will continue to act with agility to meet increased demand where it arises, subject to funding being agreed with the Department for Transport.”

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MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse said: “I recognise that the pandemic has had an effect on our travel patterns, however, the train line through Andover onto London is a vital link and passengers deserve a premium service.

“Given the reports I’m receiving from constituents about packed trains at peak times, I will be asking SWR for evidence on the travel patterns upon which they are basing their decisions.”