12 January 2007

Eastenders vs Westenders

I've just finished reading a glossy brochure produced by the Mayor of London on the East London Line extension that will be serving Brockley in 2010. When the line is opened Brockley will get direct services to Canada Water with convenient connections to the Jubilee Line and easy access to Hackney, Dalston & further tube connections at Highbury & Islington. This is all good stuff.

The Transport for London website (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/rail/initiatives/ell-proposed-services.shtml) describes the proposed services - Brockley should get 8 trains an hour (4 to West Croydon, 4 to Crystal Palace). Given that we are talking about a very significant increase in the number of trains coming through Brockley it is hardly suprising the levels of other services coming through Brockley is being looked at. However, there appears to be very little information about the proposals to the existing services to London Bridge & Charing Cross. Lots of us depend on these services to get us quickly into the West End and offer good connections to other tube lines & train services. The current proposals are to reduce the 'London Bridge' services to just 4 an hour from the existing 6. Rather than repeating the information again I'll refer you to the Sydenham Society website which has a good summary of the proposals.

Is that it then? Not quite. It isn't clear how the proposal to reduce the services to 4 from 6 has come about. At first sight, it seems reasonable that you have a piece of track along which so many trains an hour run, the extension is built, an extra 8 trains an hour need to run along that bit of upgraded track, and then accept that of course the existing services have to make way. However, this isn't really the full story. At this stage no-one really knows how many trains can use that bit of track.

So what should be done. There is a danger this could pit Westenders against Eastenders...but we're not that daft! Instead of an unseemly battle over train paths, we need a common campaign to seek a technical assessment of the real capacity of the track through Brockley...and then campaign to ensure that all the capacity is used to provide a valuable range of public transport options for Brockley residents and others along the track.

Of course, with all these extra trains coming through Brockley people there is an even more compelling case for linking Brockley in with other overground services via the proposals to open high level link (see Brockley Cross Action Group and follow the link on the left hand side to 'High Level Link')...


Michael Abrahams said...

Most commuters along the line want to go to the centre of London, rather than travelling to Canary wharf or Hoxton.

It should be possible to run 16 trains per hour rather than 14 trains per hour on our stretch of railway, afterall, this is what they are planning for ELL north of New Cross when they complete phase 2 of the ELL extension.

Network Rail are trying to reduce our trains to London Bridge (with easy connections to Northern line, Charing Cross, and buses) and expecting most of us to use Canada Water instead and change onto the Jubilee line to get to or beyond London Bridge.

In the last month the Forest Hill and Sydenham Societies have collected over 600 online signatures (plus another 100 on paper) from people opposed to the cuts to services to London Bridge. I hope you and your readers, like other Lewisham councillors (Green, Labour, and Lib Dem) and hundreds of local residents, will support our campaign opposing the cuts in trains to London Bridge and Victoria. You can find the petition at http://fhpetition.notlong.com

We are not opposed to the East London Extension, but this should not be introduced at the cost of existing services.

Brockley Nick said...

I would be totally opposed to a reduction in services to London Bridge, for all the reasons given and will gladly sign the petition, but can anyone point me to any information about proposed reductions? I have yet to see anything other than comments on blogs like these. I've tried to lay out the facts about service in my post:

So far, no-one's challenged them.