Dear Sam Gyimah MP
Nutfield Parish Council recently met and, such was the level of public frustration at the utter collapse in rail services in the area, that we are compelled to write to you to request your urgent intervention on this matter.
Since the new timetable commenced in May 2018, and the subsequent withdrawal of direct services to London from Nutfield station, commuting from home to place of work has become a daily struggle punctuated by wholesale cancellations, delays, lack of information and shocking overcrowding.
It is exceptionally disappointing to hear and read of the profound impact that the collapse in the rail service is having on the lives of residents. It is even more disappointing when the latest debacle is seen within the context of the past two years of reduced services to London as a result of the redevelopment of London Bridge and industrial action.
We would therefore be grateful if you could advise us how you intend to engage with the Department for Transport and Govia Thameslink Railway to improve matters. Specifically, we would welcome clarification of your views on enhanced compensation (i.e. in addition to the established delay repay schemes) for commuters.
As well as commenting on the appalling rail service that the new timetable has introduced on the Redhill/Tonbridge line we must also ask you to intervene on behalf of your long suffering constituents regarding Gatwick Departure Route 3 (R3). We understand the Nutfield Conservation Society has sought your support on numerous occasions regarding this subject over the last 18 months, but to no avail.
You have engaged with CAA and Gatwick Airport Ltd regarding Departure Route 4 (R4) but appear curiously and consistently silent on R3. Departure R3 has a significantly negative impact on a large number of your constituents, we are disappointed that you have (so far) failed to represent our interests in this matter. R3 currently flies directly over the Village of South Nutfield, at much lower heights than R4, very often suppressed to a maximum height of 3,000 ft. This creates intolerable noise for residents and is completely unacceptable.
Both Gatwick and the CAA accept that the R3 track Centre-line has moved North from that which applied pre – 2012. The previous justification for a change in magnetic North is no longer credible as reported at the time of the recent R4 High Court action. The CAA’s official position is that R3 meets the required criteria and will not be altered. However the basic criteria that applied to R4 which caused the route to be altered also applies to R3. On that basis the same motivation to alter the route should apply. There is no justification to refuse to review R3 especially in light of the height restriction of 3,000 ft which applies. This route should be altered in terms of track and altitude. The height restriction greatly exacerbates the noise disturbance for residents. This very low height suppression does not apply to other Gatwick departure routes and we believe it must be reviewed and altered.
Please inform us how you intend to engage with Gatwick Airport and the CAA to resolve this very important issue.
We intend to publicise our requests for you to intervene on our behalf and will keep our Parishioners updated on any progress you make.
We look forward to hearing some positive news from you regarding this important issue. We are happy to meet with you to discuss both of these issues, in fact we would welcome it. Neither of these issues will resolve themselves. Intervention is required.
Please advise us of how you can show us the way forward?
On behalf of Nutfield Parish Council
Clerk to Nutfield Parish Council
[NPC LETTER 16.07.18 – By Post and Email]