Councillors have called on the government to make urgent improvements to the Thameslink train line following a “disastrous” overhaul of the timetable.

St Albans District Council has also looked into the possibility of a judicial review.

They have asked Jo Johnson, minister of state for transport, to reinstate axed peak-hour trains from Harpenden on the Thameslink line and he has also been urged to make major changes to the system for compensating passengers for poor services.

In a further move, St Albans City and District councillors agreed to raise concerns about health and safety risks to passengers with franchise holder Govia Thameslink Railway.

This follows injury to two people during a stampede for a train at Harpenden rail station as well as complaints about overcrowded platforms and carriages.

Councillors will also ask Cllr Mary Maynard, responsible for planning, to look at the possibility of challenging the new timetable by way of a judicial review.

The actions were agreed by councillors on the all-party Planning, Resources, Housing and Commercial Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on June 7.

Chairman Cllr Roma Mills was tasked with writing to both Mr Johnson and Govia about the Committee’s concerns.

After the meeting, Cllr Mills said: “Govia promised a once-in-a-generation timetable change that would transform the Thameslink line.

“The unanimous view of the committee is that that this has been completely disastrous. This district’s tens of thousands of rail commuters, particularly those who use Harpenden rail station, have suffered terribly.

“There are continuous delays, cancellations, poor communications, overcrowding and other serious safety issues. As a matter of urgency, we want the government to take action to sort out the mess.

The committee heard from Larry Heyman, Govia’s local development manager.

He said he was “extremely embarrassed and disappointed” at the impact of the new timetable which came into force last month.

He said he had hoped the changes would be a cause of “celebration” and the climax to £7 billion of investment to the Thameslink line.

Mr Heyman said he was unable to discuss the causes of the turmoil for legal reasons because that was now the subject of an investigation.

Govia was hoping to “regularise” the timetable so that commuters would be informed of cancellations the night before rather than at short notice while attempts are also being made to introduce an interim timetable that would remove the need for cancellations, although that would not be ready before the end of July.

A Harpenden Thameslink Commuter Group has gained 1,500 members in just two months because of the high “level of dissatisfaction” with services.