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18 February 2010, 05:00
Managers from First Capital Connect will be at Bedford station this evening to meet their passengers.
They're going to be there between 5pm and 7.30pm to answer questions and take comments from people about the train company's performance.
Since October services have been disrupted because of a dispute between the company and its drivers and also the wintry weather. In recent weeks services have returned to a normal timetable, whilst FCC have offered people who've had their journeys disrupted a compensation package.
North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt said that he was pleased that First Capital Connect managers have now fixed a date for a “Meet the Managers” session with passengers in Bedford.
The meeting follows the significant criticism levelled at First Capital Connect for its recent failures in performance, and an agreement made with MPs that such meetings were essential to ensure the company understood exactly how passengers felt.
Alistair Burt said: "Constituents have made very clear to me that they are at the end of their tether with First Capital Connect, particularly those who use the Thameslink line to London regularly and have been hugely affected by the recent disruption in services. Whilst no one can be blamed for the weather, the drivers dispute appeared to have been poorly handled, regular changes in management have given no sense of certainty, and delayed improvements worry passengers who have already put up with a great deal.
The opportunity with the support of Bedford Commuters Association, should give passengers their chance to talk directly to the company. I was present at a similar session in St Albans which appeared to work well. I am sure that the opportunity will be taken by passengers, who are right to anticipate a significant improvement in performance if First Capital Connect is to retain its franchise."
You can listen to Mathew Williams' full interview with Arthur Taylor, Chairman of the Bedford Commuters Association by clicking here...