Great News for Cooksbridge Rail Service

We have some very exciting news! Please see the below statement from CARAG (Cooksbridge Area Rail Action Group) today:
Hi All
We are delighted to give you early notification that GTR has agreed to provide an hourly stopping service 6 days a week at Cooksbridge station.
This will complete the hourly weekday service by closing the current gap in the middle of the day. For the first time for very many years we shall also enjoy a Saturday service. The revised service commences with the new timetable on December 15th. This is reward over ten years of persistent campaigning during which time we have developed excellent relationships with senior GTR management and worked with them to identify ways in which more trains could stop without undermining overall performance on the network.
The additional services are for a trial period only, so it is important that they are well used. If you currently just use services for weekday commuting, do look for opportunities to use the Saturday service.
There will still be no trains on Sundays, but we are working with GTR towards the introduction of a Sunday service next year, though this is still work in progress and subject to final confirmation.
We are planning an Open Day towards the end of the year to celebrate the new service and do hope you will be able to attend. More details nearer the time.
Cooksbridge Area Rail Action Group
I would like to add a massive thanks to those at CARAG and in particular Cllr Robert Baughan, who wouldn't give up. It's just over 10 years since Robert started this campaign, in March 2009, for a decent train service for Cooksbridge. Starting initially on his own then through the parish council, Sally Field and Chris Rowan from Chandlers Mead joined him when he founded The Station Partnership in 2010 and then latterly Robert has been working with Ian Ginn (Cooksbridge), Kevin Froude (Offham) and Dinah Pryor (was Cooksbridge) since 2011, re-branding as CARAG (Cooksbridge Area Rail Action Group) in 2015.
After countless emails, meetings and consistently working to provide constructive reasons (including detailed analysis of their timetables) why the train service we are seeking was feasible, it’s great to see that we have finally made the breakthrough to achieve this outcome. Perseverance has paid off.
Hopefully, it will make a real and lasting positive difference to Cooksbridge, Offham, Hamsey and other villages within the station catchment area, improving the quality of life for residents and also reducing car journeys (and associated airborne pollution).
We now need to do all we can to ensure that these new weekday off-peak and Saturday services are well used. All being well we could potentially be looking at Sunday service from May, but this is yet to be confirmed and may depend on usage.
With thanks,
Cllr Tamsyn d'Arienzo
Hamsey Parish Council

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