Little used station will see no more trains despite campaign

Sudbury Town Residents Association, along with local councillors Saquib Butt, Thomas Stephens and Ma

Sudbury Town Residents Association, along with local councillors Saquib Butt, Thomas Stephens and Mary Daly, are campaigning for more trains to stop at Sudbury & Harrow Road Station. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Councillors have started a petition after their campaign to upgrade Sudbury & Harrow Road, one of London’s least used stations, fell short. 

Chiltern Railways has now started a new term of contract which will see trains continue to call at the facility just four times per day in each direction. 

The business was last month re-awarded the franchise for London to Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the West Midlands until the end of 2027. 

Chiltern has pledged to continue and expand the trials of zero emission batteries, to work on a business case towards converting more trains to hybrid, introducing a Delay Repay option for trains later than 15 minutes, and introducing onboard LED lighting.

But in Sudbury, councillors feel the suburb has been overlooked. 
Brent councillor Thomas Stephens, a Sudbury ward member, said: “The Government’s renewed six-year Chiltern contract does nothing for Sudbury residents. 

“This is a huge missed opportunity for Wembley.”

He had hoped a weekend service and up to four trains an hour could be introduced for Sudbury & Harrow Road - which was used by only 38,058 passengers in 2019-20. 

The station’s development has been hamstrung by its placement on a section of a two-track line which is used for fast services to Oxford and Birmingham. This means, despite the speedy 15 minute journey time to London Marylebone, only a small number of trains can stop in the peak hours. 

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“Our petition calls on the Transport Secretary and Chiltern Railways to step up to deliver the service Wembley residents need,” said Cllr Stephens.

Chiltern Railways responded to the petition, saying: “Many stations on the Chiltern line do not benefit from the variety of strong public transport alternatives to the rail network seen in London.

“If we were to increase the number of trains that call at Sudbury & Harrow Road this would cause considerable disbenefits to our wider customer base or require very significant investment in infrastructure and more trains.”

The link to the petition for a regular train service at Sudbury and Harrow Road station can be found here.