More than 300 commuters have signed a petition to try to prevent fast train services to Waterloo being axed.

South Western Railway is planning to change its 2018 timetable by increasing the number of trains calling at the busiest stations – but a petition by aggrieved Whitton commuters is doing the rounds on social media and councillors have criticised the plan.

The timetable consultation for December 2018 said that Waterloo to Reading and Waterloo to Windsor routes will increase to four trains per hour throughout the day.

However, the Waterloo to Waterloo via Hounslow, Waterloo to Waterloo via Whitton and Waterloo to Waterloo via Kingston services would remain at two trains per hour.

Whitton councillor Gareth Elliott said: "I am deeply concerned about the changes that are being proposed by SWR and its impact on Whitton, particularly the suggested changes to peak time semi-fast trains into London Waterloo.

"Whitton is a significant commuter town with more entries and exits than some larger cities. Additionally, Whitton station has recently been upgraded which makes these proposed changes seem rather perverse."

Cllr Elliott added that he is working with Richmond Council to raise this issue urgently with South Western Rail.

Commenting on the petition - ‘Stop direct train services being cut from Whitton to Waterloo’ - Peter B said: “Reducing the train service from Whitton is madness, in the morning & evening every train is full & standing.

“Also, a lot of people use the services outside peak times. When South Western Railway won the franchise we were told they would offer a better train service. So how does cutting back the service make it better?”

Another petitioner, Rachel S said: “I've lived in Whitton for six years, and the station is getting busier every year. We need more trains not less. I need these trains to allow me to drop the kids off and get to work! What's the justification for this!”

South Western Railway responded by claiming that the proposals are in an effort to improve the service for all commuters, including Whittonites.

A spokeswoman said: "The reason we have published the consultation is so that everyone has the chance to comment on the timetable proposals so that the planners can use the feedback to help shape the final proposal.

“In the current proposals online Whitton gains more services in the morning and in the evening peaks with more direct services - no change at Richmond.

“The rest of the day it seems that services have shifted by a few minutes and are either slow or semi fast services, again without the need for the change at Richmond.

“We have seen feedback through the consultation process where customers are asking for more fast services. We are listening and will look at the proposals to see what can be improved for December 2018.”

The plans are currently in public consultation, with December 22 the final deadline to submit comments via