London MPs are “appalled” at slashes to South Western Railway train services claiming cuts are causing “anxiety” for local commuters.

The increase in cases of the Omicron Covid variant has been blamed as more staff are off sick at home and self-isolating.

From today (January 17),  the train company has introduced a new trimmed down timetable with fewer trains running.

Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, tweeted: “I see that [South Western Railway] is reducing the Shepperton service to hourly from Monday.

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“I’m appalled by this decision on what is already a *VERY* badly served line.

“Those who use Hampton and Fulwell stations are fed up of paying eye-watering fares for a substandard service.”

Sarah Olney, Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park, has written to South Western Railway (SWR) to express her concerns.

She tweeted: “A new ‘consolidated’ SWR timetable is due to come into effect from Monday.

“Like many of my constituents, I’m concerned this will mean an even worse service at a time when London cases are actually falling. I’ve therefore asked SWR to reconsider their plans.”

Her letter to SWR said: “This has caused considerable anxiety for a number of my constituents.

“Over the past two months, I have been hearing from them that local SWR services have become increasingly infrequent and unreliable.

“The prospect of further disruption and last-minute cancellations, per the new timetable, will have only added to that concern.”

Key timetable changes include the Waterloo to Exeter service being split at Salisbury, the Waterloo to Weymouth service being split at Bournemouth and the Shepperton branch reducing to hourly.

Further changes will see the Waterloo to Alton service reduced to hourly, Waterloo to Basingstoke also reduced to hourly and the last train of each day will be earlier than before.

The temporary timetable changes will remain under review going forward.

SWR’s managing director Claire Mann said: “The spread of the Omicron variant has had a significant impact on our railway, with fewer people using the train and staff shortages impacting on our ability to consistently deliver the current timetable.

“Having assessed demand and spoken to our industry colleagues, we believe this new timetable is the most effective means of ensuring our customers receive a reliable service, with short-notice cancellations minimised.

“Journey planners will be updated on a week-by-week basis, with updates taking place towards the end of each week. Customers should check their journey as close to their time of travel as possible.”

South Western Railway has been contacted for further comment.