A new Southeastern train timetable is due to come into effect from 11th December. This means:
- Hayes line services will no longer call at St Johns station
- Peak services will reduce from 8ph to 6ph
- Off peak services will reduce from 6ph to 4ph
The St John’s Society is strongly opposed to these changes and has written to our local councillors and MP to ask for support. You can download the chair’s letter here.
The Society has also prepared the following notes which you might find useful in preparing an objection. Personalising your experience can increase impact particularly if you can explain how these changes affect you. It is important that as many members as possible make their own views known.
- In no way can this be described as an improved and simpler service. Simple and straightforward journeys are transformed into difficult, complicated, and inconvenient ones in view of the requirement to change trains at either Lewisham or London Bridge or indeed both.
- For the elderly and those with mobility issues, with heavy luggage and parents with children and babies in strollers or slings, this presents time consuming and logistical difficulties; for some they may be a total barrier to travel into central London.
- There is inadequate lift capacity at Lewisham and London Bridge to cope with the needs of these categories of passengers. Lewisham already suffers from severe overcrowding at peak times, frequently suffers from lifts out of services, and involves lengthy routes for interchange between platforms.
- The change may also influence decisions by some on whether to travel at all. It removes a key interchange at New Cross for travellers on the Hayes line on to the London Overground East London line. Thus, this fails to achieve the government’s objective to stimulate economic growth.
The need to change will also defeat the punctuality objective as it is likely to result in excessive dwell times at London Bridge and Lewisham because more people will be changing trains.
- Why has major investment not resulted in improvements but slower journey times and this degraded timetable? Over recent years, these include (at great cost and disruption):
– adding platforms at London Bridge to improve capacity and reduce congestion;
– building the Bermondsey dive under to aid crossover of trains;
– dualling the fast line loop track at St Johns to increase access from Lewisham;
– re-signaling the whole area to improve capacity and reliability;
– making improvements to the crossover at Lewisham to improve reliability
– lengthening platforms to accommodate longer trains (still not being regularly provided).
- In summary, the changes discourage rail travel, blights large areas of southeast London where many new housing developments have been built adding demand to the railway infrastructure before adequate improvements to service and capacity have been delivered.
We need public transport by rail to be a viable alternative to using the car. Reducing frequencies and curtailing point to point journeys will only further deter people from using rail services, render major public investment nugatory, and deter private investment in housebuilding and business.
Please add your voice to the opposition by using the folowing methods:
Southeastern have asked for feedback on these timetable changes to be submitted via their website here: https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/help-and-contact/get-in-touch/contact-us
We also suggest that you write to:
Huw Merriman MP
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
House of Commons
020 7219 8712
Mark Harper MP
Secretary of State for Transport
House of Commons
020 7219 5056
Anthony Smith Esq,
94-98 Petty France
Ms Janet Cooke, Chief Executive
11 Lavington Street
London SE1 0NZ
MPs and Councillors:
Cllr Sian Eiles Sian.Eiles@lewisham.gov.uk
Cllr Stephen Penfold Cllr_Stephen.Penfold@lewisham.gov.uk
Cllr Ayesha Lahai-Taylor Ayesha.Lahai-Taylor@lewisham.gov.uk
Vicky Foxcroft MP firstname.lastname@example.org