Forest Hill Society launches petition against Southern Cuts

From the Forest Hill Society:

Southern Railways are planning to cut trains to Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, and Sydenham in December 2009 and again in May 2010.

In December 2009 they plan to cut our direct evening service from Charing Cross, running all trains from London Bridge. This is a well used service and provides a direct connection from the West End after 7:30pm. As this is an off-peak service we reject Southern Railway's claims that there is no capacity through London Bridge.


In May 2010 Southern Railways plan to reduce the peak services (as well as off-peak services) from London Bridge by over 30%, from 6 trains per hour to just 4 trains per hour (the same as the off-peak service). They will continue to run 6 trains per hour in the morning, meeting the demands on the line, but will not provide a similar service in the evenings, hoping that customers will switch to East London Line services or put up with serious overcrowding.

We reject the cuts to services through Forest Hill and call on Southern Railways to run the same level of service as they do in September 2009.
We call on rail authorities and local politicians to support our calls to maintain 6 trains per hour in the evening peak and direct services from Charing Cross in the late evenings.


Please sign the petition at http://nototraincuts.notlong.com

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

May find the following of use....

http://londonreconnections.blogspot.com/2009/09/south-london-line-tfl-replies.html

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Just signed the petition but I am only #23 which is a bit disappointing. When did it start?

Michael Abrahams said...

Tyrwhitt Michael ,

It started at 11:30pm last night. Congratulations on being in the first 50 to sign!

Headhunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Headhunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lou Baker said...

The link on the London Reconnections website shows that it is the Department of Transport and not Southern that's to blame for this.

http://tinyurl.com/r33gak

When it was reissuing the South Central franchise the DFT specifically asked for 4 trains an hour on our route. Southern is simply doing what it agreed to.

The DFT claims to have held consultations with local authorities, MPs and other groups about this. I've made a Freedom of Information Act request to find out exactly who was consulted - because it seems passengers weren't.

However there are some potentially difficult questions for Lewisham/Joan Ruddock and others if they were told about these cuts but did nothing ...

Anonymous said...

I have signed the petition and written to Joan Ruddock, I have no faith that this decision can be reversed however. I suspect that most rail users in Brockely have no idea this is going to happen- should we be considering leafleting at the station?

Anonymous said...

Write to Joan (or email), may not come to much but she IS a junior minister now as well as constiuency MP so may have some small amount of extra influence.

http://www.joanruddock.org/index.php?id=42

Anonymous said...

Good spot Lou.

Seems for once we were a little harsh in slagging off Southern.

However, the finger is still well and truely pointing in there direction for the other 719 issues.

Headhunter said...

I've written to Joan, Lord Adonis, Darren Johnson and others. Only Darren and the Passenger Focus rail group have replied (the passenger group offering to forward my message to South Eastern, the wrong rail company!).

I think posting a small poster or leafleting the station would be a good idea, I'm sure that many residents along our line have no clue this is happening.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

I suppose twenty some since 11.30 last night is not bad. Are the Forest Hill Society doing posters and leaflets? If so cosys could be ahred with them.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

Should have read

Costs could be shared.....

Headhunter said...

It's up to 30 or 40 now. Was 30 something when I signed.

b. said...

121 now.

Probably Not Through said...

The Andrew Smith that signed the petition spells like Catman.

Cllr Dean Walton said...

I have proposed the following motion to Lewisham Council on September 24th:

This council calls on the Mayor to write to Southern rail, Transport for London and the Secretary of State for Transport to:

• Express the council's grave concerns about Southern's plans to reduce off-peak and evening peaktime services to and from London Bridge on the Brockley/Sydenham line from six to four per hour, a reduction of one third, and to oppose these service cuts;
• Ask for an explanation for Southern's refusal to attend a recent meeting with council officials and residents to explain the planned service cuts and invite them to a further meeting, to include the Mayor himself and ward councillors from affected areas;
• Seek a full explanation of the planned service cuts and clarification on the maximum capacity of the rail line for both East London Line and London Bridge services; and
• While wholeheartedly welcoming the new East London Line service, oppose any reduction in services to London Bridge that are carried out purely for financial reasons rather than capacity reasons and lobby instead for the maximum possible services to London Bridge."

I am hoping that all parties in Lewisham can support this motion - we'll see on Wednesday. I'll post an update to Brockley Nick or on my own blog.

Dean

Anonymous said...

Is there a FACEBOOK group too? If so I want to join it

Mwmbwls said...

We will be returning to the South London Lines in the near future in London Reconnections. We draw attention to Caroline Pigeon's activities as Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee. She has, as you will see, been looking closely at various Thameslink related isssues.Your petitioners might like to add her to your list of people to be talked to.


Caroline Pidgeon can be contacted at:
GLA
City Hall
The Queen's Walk
London SE1 2AA
Telephone: 020 7983 4362
Email: caroline.pidgeon@london.gov.uk

regards
Mwmbwls
http://londonreconnections.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Absolute madness to cut one of the busiest rail services - but we will need an almighty campaign to turn it around, I reckon.

I'd be happy to hand out leaflets to commuters in rush hour at Brockley Station letting them know about the cuts and the petition...where can I sign up?? :-)

Lou Baker said...

@ Cllr Walton

If the Department for Transport is to be believed ALL the local authorities served by Southern WERE consulted ahead of the franchise renewal . This clearly outlined plans to cut Southern services in our area.

Perhaps you can also ask whether Lewisham was consulted and, if so, what response the borough gave. (If it gave one).

As can be seen from this Blog and similar ones in Sydenham and other areas, passengers knew nothing about it.

If the issue is with route capacity I'm sure most people would want to see the existing level of London Bridge services retained, with fewer new trains on the East London Line instead.

Do we really need 8 trains an hour to Hackney and just 4 to London Bridge?

Cllr Dean Walton said...

@ Lou Baker - absolutely I'll be asking what Lewisham said in its response. My guess is that any response will have been cleared with either the Mayor or Deputy Mayor.

My understanding of the Route Utilisation Study for South London is that the line is generally capable of providing that level of service - indeed that level of service is planned during the peak periods demonstrating at the off-peak periods it can be maintained.

With regard to the ELL - I fully support it and its final destination is not that important to me - I'd probably be changing at Whitechapel or Canada Water. I use the Northern Line a lot but have never been to High Barnet or Edgware. The issue with metro-services is the frequency - reduce that and you risk killing it off.

Dean

Brockley Kate said...

As this blog covered previously, the Brockley line has been identified as one of the five worst points of over-crowding on the entire London rail network.

Anyone writing to anyone about these cuts might like to mention that as part of their response.

Monkeyboy said...

Written to Joan Ruddock, Lord Adonis (great name) and Caroline Pidgeon. May end up in the bin but if they receive 20 who knows?

patrick1971 said...

In other rail news, the chap from the local Lib Dems who's organising a protest about the axing of the Bellingham/Victoria services through Crofton Park seems to be making headway; I get regular emails from him about who he's meeting etc.

Headhunter said...

What I don't understand is why Southern promised no cuts to the London Bridge service 6-12 months ago. Nick (or Jon or Kate, dunno who) reported here that someone had extracted a statement from Southern that there would be no cuts to our London Bridge services when the ELL was up and running.

I don't remember exactly when this article was published on BC, but I distinctly remember it. Yet it seems that Southern and apparently local councils knew that there would be cuts in the service! So basically Southern lied in its official response. I wonder why....

Marisa said...

@ Headhunter
On the 12 February 2007, I got this reply back from Southern Customer Service:

Dear Ms Renzullo,

Thank you for your email.

There shouldn't be any significant change to the number of Southern trains at all. There may have to be some sideways shifting of a few minutes to avoid clashing and, in the longer term, the long-awaited Thameslink scheme (the project which ups the number of cross-London trains running via Farringdon) will also have a bearing. This is because that project provides for two additional 'through' platforms to be built at London Bridge and these will obliterate two of our existing ones. However, the upshot of that is that some of our Brockley line trains currently terminating at London Bridge will simply run on to destinations North of London via Blackfriars and City Thameslink thus providing some welcome alternatives for people who presently change to the Underground at London Bridge.

Only snag, unfortunately, is that were talking years rather than months because of the convoluted planning procedures which have to be followed. In other countries, of course, they just get on with it!

Regards

Richard Lancaster
Southern Customer Services


This has obviously all changed.
I will get back to Richard today and see what his comments are now.

Headhunter said...

Would love to know what Richard's story is now, seeing as apparently all along the knew that there would be cuts, yet their customer services dept was cheerily telling everyone that there wouldn't be any cuts...

Monkeyboy said...

More useful stuff looks like Ms Pigeon is fighting the good fight.


http://bit.ly/4xnX6J

Whickham Whippet said...

I've contacted BBC London and Evening Standard about this. I hope it will make a difference!

Wickham Whippet said...

Should add that BBC already interested. The more people know about this the less Southern can hide! Let's keep fighting the good fight....

Michael Abrahams said...

Thanks for contacting the BBC. They emailed me and I spoke to them this afternoon.

It should be on BBC London online in the next few days.

BrockleyDave said...

I would just like to urge as many people to sign the petition as possible. The cancellation of evening and weekend direct services to Waterloo East and Charing Cross is really annoying. Southern's explanation for this to me was that it was necessary to enable there to be enough slots for trains from Kent to go into Charing Cross - great - so Brockley passengers are penalised to benefit passengers on other lines.

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