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No more Charing Cross trains after 2014; massive loss in service proposed for Greenwich/Woolwich

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Md78, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Md78 Member

    Please read the below and share this information with people you know who may be affected.

    It has been reported on the Deptford Dame website today (http://deptforddame.blogspot.co.uk/) that train services to Greenwich and Woolwich are about to get a whole lot worse (if that's possible).

    The following was reported in the Deptford Dame and obviously these changes will also apply to passengers travelling to Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich and everywhere in between:

    "If proposals go ahead as planned, after next year it will no longer be possible to get a train from Deptford to Waterloo East or Charing Cross stations.

    After 2014 trains from Deptford will ONLY serve Cannon Street station - worse than that, for THREE YEARS you won't even be able to change at London Bridge!

    So now you are probably thinking - what the hell, I'll walk to New Cross station and go from there, might add another five minutes but it'll be so much easier.

    This won't be an option either - New Cross will be similarly affected!

    As Greenwich Line Users' Group convener Mike Sparham explains in the article, this massive loss in amenity is down to proposed improvements to the Thameslink services at London Bridge. All well and good for those using Thameslink, but it will leave Greenwich-line users severely restricted in terms of travel options.

    It will also increase travel costs - whereas currently you can get into central London for the cost of a Southeastern train ticket to Charing Cross, in future those travelling to the West End for work or leisure will be dumped in Cannon Street and face the additional cost of a tube or bus ride to get to the centre of town.

    Contact details for the user group are on Mike's post; whether or not a campaign can have any effect at this stage of the game is uncertain, but I'll try and keep you updated."
  2. GORN Member

    Is there a coherent counter proposal anywhere?
  3. Darryl Member

    Very, very dedicated readers of this site may remember this being mentioned a few years back: http://www.greenwich.co.uk/magazine/02382-greenwichcouk-guide-to-the-new-train-timetables/

    The only coherent counter proposal would be to physically rebuild a link between the Greenwich line and the Charing Cross branches. The hassle while London Bridge is being rebuilt is going to be unavoidable - the key is how it's all going to be managed.

    The main issues are...

    a) the crapness of the interchange at London Bridge - this will hopefully be addressed in the rebuild.

    b) the fares (being charged extra for taking the tube from Cannon Street or Bank) - this would have been resolved if the Government had given our local rail lines to TfL, instead of listening to idiots in Kent

    c) What kind of service the Greenwich line would get if it's only going to get a Cannon Street service - if it's to lose a direct train to the West End, then it should get something in compensation, like a frequent service into Cannon Street, from first train to last, seven days a week. This would have been more likely with TfL, but is worth pressing the government about now.

    Also worth noting there's no "massive loss in service", it's just about where it goes - and Charlton and Woolwich Arsenal keep Charing Cross trains, as their services can run via Lewisham.
  4. Darryl is absolutely right: if we want the benefits that we’re told the redevelopment will bring by 2018 (more frequent trains, a better quality of service and an improved interchange between platforms including adequate disabled access) then some disruption is inevitable - and I speak as someone who gets the train to Charing Cross for work every morning.

    The redesign involves rebuilding entire platforms and track locations and relaying kilometres of track. It's my understanding that if a service to Charing Cross via the Greenwich line were maintained then the track redesign (the complicated bit) would not be possible.

    Darryl’s asking the right questions: will we get a more frequent and reliable service to Cannon Street for the duration and what happens to fares for those locals who will require additions to their journeys from Cannot Street station.

    I've written to Network Rail about these and other issues several times and their representatives have assured me that they’re busy looking into every available option to minimise disruption and will be working closely with TfL to provide decent information and viable travel alternatives throughout the redevelopment (I’m told www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk will be a one stop for passengers with regular updates and the chance to sign up to email alerts). They have also committed to notify passengers 12 months in advance of all services changes.

    I appreciate that some people will feel that the long-term benefits are not worth the disruption involved but the fact is that the redevelopment is already underway so we need to focus on getting the best deal possible for the duration.
    AB3 likes this.
  5. Andrew Newell New Member

    If it is not possible to maintain the direct Charing Cross service via the Greenwich line, without undermining all the supposed benefits of redesigning the track, then surely there must be other ways of maintaining a link to the West End. The most obvious would be the proposed DLR extension to Charing Cross and on to Victoria. This would ensure a direct connection to Charing Cross for those areas most affected by the track redesign (assuming Charlton and Woolwich keep their Charing Cross services), as well as creating a new direct connection to Victoria, which has always had poor access from Greenwich.

    It seems crucial that direct services from Greenwich are not limited to the city and Canary Wharf as, whilst useful, they serve only a particular subset of Greenwich residents. Providing this can be seen as a London transport issue, rather than a Southeastern trains issue, there must be hope that a mutually beneficial solution can be found.
  6. Darreb Member

    MD78 - It has been reported on the Deptford Dame website today (http://deptforddame.blogspot.co.uk/) that train services to Greenwich and Woolwich are about to get a whole lot worse (if that's possible).

    Sorry get worse , if thats possible!! What are we comparing this to?? I mean from Greenwich you can get a mainline train to London 8 times an hour (rush hour that is), if thats not enough then I can get the DLR to Lewisham and get a train from there, or I can get a DLR in to London. So to suggest that the service is currently poor is just not accurate.

    As for the changes, well welcome to the party, given the ammount of information that has been in circulation at mainline stations for the last year or more I'm amazed that you haven't picked up on it yet.

    As for alternative dispensations I would suggest that if you're pushing for something then a free zone one tube ticket extension is the best that you can hope for, presumably this would be easier to achieve on Oyster which no doubt you have given the frequency you journey to Charing Cross.
    GORN likes this.
  7. Md78 Member

    @Darreb - On Sundays there are 18 minute gaps between trains, hardly a frequent service considering Greenwich is a key tourist centre in the capital and one of the key Olympic venues. It is also subject to a monstrous level of residential development without a matching increase in transportation links.

    The 22 minute DLR to Bank you suggest is not a viable alternative to the current 8 minute train journey to London Bridge.

    The DLR to Lewisham is a viable option however the journey takes 5 mins, a connection would take at least 5 mins and the train to London Bridge takes 10 minutes. So the total journey takes 20 minutes instead of the current 8 minutes - 150% more. This may not sound like much but would add up to an extra TWO HOURS commuting time per week.

    Accepting the loss of a rail link to the West End and Waterloo in my opinion is a serious mistake, leaving Greenwich with only links to the City and Canary Wharf. Yawn! This will only benefit people who work in the city, but is bad news for people who work anywhere else (me), for going out, for going shopping, travelling to other London terminals, for having fun in London or basically doing anything that doesn't involve the dreary tumble weed atmosphere of Canary Wharf and the City. I mean Cannon St already shuts at 9pm its that dull a place, as nobody bothers going there.

    Re dispensations, what I am pushing for is people to get loud and angry about this and stop us losing our links to Charing X. I couldn't care less about Oyster discounts as regardless of the change I will still need a zones 1-6 ticket, but yes, everyone else should definitely get cheaper annual season cards. Why on earth should people pay South Eastern 6% more next year when the service is going to be pants and taking them to a place many don't even want to go? They should be getting huge discounts from the train operators during this crap-service period. But with spineless politicians, a financially-corrupt civil service (certainly the BBC, though I imagine Network Rail is also guilty given it blew £1bn on its home station Reading) and profit-hungry private train operators, the suggestion of not charging more and offering a discount during this upheaval will conveniently be brushed under the carpet.
  8. Darreb Member

    Good luck with the "loud and angry" I have a nasty feeling that you'll end up with an ulcer and not much else still give it a shot.

    Me, I'll just stick to my "glass half full" mentality and we'll see how it all pans out.
  9. GORN Member

    I think this is a problem, but I don't think that ranting about it and citing the Olympics (eh?) is going to get us anywhere. If there is a coherent alternative to the proposal, let's hear that, and then campaign for it, rather than just shouting "Change is bad! I may not be inconvenienced! We had the Olympics, you know!".
  10. Nelson's Left Eye New Member

    As I hope you all really know, the idea is that we get quicker journeys into the centre without the bottleneck of trains queuing for 10-15min to get into London Bridge. The city's population is booming and we can't carry on with the current creaking system, can we.

    So once the direct trains stop, you change at London Bridge, crossing to the next platform to continue onto CX. It's hardly crossing the Himalayas with Hannibal and it's what many hundreds of commuters do every day already.

    During the time London Bridge is closed, just continue to Cannon Street and change to the Circle/District line.
  11. GORN Member

    I am finding your exaggerated language in the opposite direction just as unhelpful. And I'm a little puzzled about what Hannibal would have been doing in the Himalayas.

    For most people, London Bridge and Cannon Street aren't "the centre" in the way that Charing Cross is. You suggest that the aim is quicker journeys to the centre - do you have projected data about much quicker a journey to Charing Cross will be after the change at London Bridge or Cannon Street, compared with direct trains today?

    When you speak of crossing to "the next platform" at London Bridge, is that from knowledge that that's what is being proposed? At present the change is from platform 1 or 3 to platform 6, requiring two sets of stairs and the bridge, not crossing to the next platform.
    Alan Palmer likes this.
  12. Alan Palmer Member

    I have to declare at the outset that I commute to Cannon Street at present so my main concern is that the number of trains won't be reduced. It's almost impossible to get a seat at present, so an influx of travellers who normally go to Waterloo or Charing Cross will make them even more overcrowded. Even if Charing Cross trains were just diverted into Cannon Street I can't see that the station platforms will be able to accommodate them all.
    GORN likes this.
  13. GORN Member

    I have hunted around, but I can't find a clear, definitive, official statement about these changes.

    http://thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/about#keydates is close, but it doesn't seem to clearly say that Greeniwch line won't go back to calling at Charing Cross after 2018.

    Can anyone point me at something official?
  14. AB3 Member

    GORN, the website you are referring to says "The changes to the layout of the tracks around London Bridge will mean each service will have a dedicated route allowing us to run more trains. Once complete, the new layout means trains on the Greenwich line are unable to continue on to Charing Cross and Waterloo East. From Janaury 2018, you'll be able to travel to these stations by changing at London Bridge." http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/node/104
  15. GORN Member

    Oh, thank you! I must skipped the text at the start as I went straight to the timetable.
    It does annoy me that Southeastern, Network Rail and the GLA expect us to have grubbed around on an apparently irrelevant site (why would I normally care about Thameslink?) to find this information. It would seem reasonable for them to have contacted and consulted passengers on the line.
  16. Chris Member

    GORN, they did consult passengers on the line.

    And ignored them.
  17. GORN Member

    When was this consultation? Who was the "they" that carried it out? Who did they consult?
  18. Chris Member

    GORN, there was an element of facetiousness in my reply. They say there was consultation, but what is a consultation? Did they ask one passenger or a whole week's worth? Did they ask mainly commuters to the City or party-goers heading for the West End?
    I don't know.
    But since when did a corporation like this actually listen to anyone who is against plans which were unofficially rubber-stamped ages ago?
    TfL say their public consultation produced 76 percent in favour of the Silvertown Tunnel. Where on earth did they get that from?
  19. GORN Member

    You are confusing me. Who is the "they" that say they consulted? Where are their statements on this published?

    What has the Silvertown tunnel got to do with this?

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