TfL: 'No Need for the South London Line'

The South London Press today reports that TfL believes there is no 'practical or economic case' to reinstate plans to create a Victoria to Bellingham service to replace the lost South London Line. The route would have served Crofton Park.

The report adds:

"But Ian Brown, managing director of London Rail – part of Transport for London (TfL) – said he would make it “a priority” to mitigate the loss of the South London Line (SLL)."

These plans will be presented in November.

Click here for the full story.

49 comments:

Barry said...

No Charing X, No Victoria. So much for the Olympic effect.

Anonymous said...

Would have been different story If they were doing an Olympic event In the Crofton Park,Brockley area

Olympic breakfast said...

Not like there aren't squillions of other travel methods in the area...

Matt-Z said...

“We couldn’t timetable the two together – it’s one track....If we built extra signals and invested in it, both could run, but with the existing infrastructure we couldn’t run both lines.”

That's news to me. Would the £24m have covered the cost of the required infrastructure upgrades, or would that be an additional cost?

Brockley Nick said...

@Matt - Boris is busy unveiling huge TfL cuts at Tory party conference. The news that we've been getting lately may not be unrelated
http://bit.ly/4yLhCO

Headhunter said...

What happened to BoZo's plan to remove all the relatively new bendy buses and replace them with even newer shorter buses and the bespoke designed new Routemaster? That's an enormous waste of transport money that could do with axing.

Anonymous said...

Thats true HH the money there losing on the bendy ( free ) bus must run into millions

Pete said...

Not unlike Boris' head frankly.

Anonymous said...

well I for one am looking forward to the massive cuts in wasteful spending that Govt departments are going to have to find from 2010 onwards regardless of which party is in power.

I am absolutely sick of paying tax for nothing.

Matt-Z said...

@ Headhunter...

The first bendy buses have already gone, replaced by single decker versions of the same bus on the 507 and 521 in central London. There are more buses but much fewer seats. As for the BorisMaster, I wonder if it will survive post-election spending cuts?

Headhunter said...

Yes I noticed that the 521 was now made up of brand new, shorter buses. What an immense waste of money, the bendies that did that route were only 4 or 5 years old! I wonder what happened to them?

They're going to have to run A LOT more of those short single deckers that have replaced the bendies to get anywhere near the same capacity on that route and at the same time they'll be ramping up emmissions.

bipartisan said...

Where are the lib dems to save the day?

Anonymous said...

The 436 Is always full but buses In front and behind are empty I wonder why ?

Headhunter said...

Errr, possibly because the 436 is the only bus that goes across SE London from Lewisham rather than heading into the centre of London? Pretty much the only way to traverse SE London is by bus, trains travel in and out of central London only.

Obviously there is a fair amount of fare evasion but IME the ticket inspectors are pretty fierce on that bus, esp at peak times and most people seem to touch in when they get on.

Tamsin said...

I cordially dislike the bendy buses, I find it highly amusing that more broke down in six months than did Routemasters in 60 years, they are menace to cyclists and other road uses - but, but, but they do transport a lot of people fairly efficiently and to make a political point by pulling the plug on such investment is just stupid.

Headhunter said...

The old Routemaster probably had a much simpler engine than the bendy bus. Modern buses have fuel injection systems and complex electronics to increase fuel efficiency but these things go wrong. As a cyclist in London, I have never found bendies, or in fact buses of any kind, to be a problem at all.

My list of danger on the roads in no paticular order are loony moped riders, pedestrians who step into the road/cycle lane without looking, white van man and black cab drivers. Buses are the least of my concerns, they just get in the way sometimes.

Monkeyboy said...

I'd love to see the evidence that the Routemasters were so very reliable. I'm not convinced.

The Routemasters look nice, great if you want to live in an 'Olde London' theme park. I want a transport system that works.

graeme said...

One enduring image I have of Routemasters is parked (usually around Bloomsbury) slightly in front of an oil-slick of their own making, with one of the seats removed and propped up against its back-end to indicate its non-functioning status, and to warn (motor)cyclists of impending doom. Mind you these buses were already knocking on for forty, so amazing that they had lasted this long. The bodywork looked as though it was held together with filler.

monkeyboy said...

any one tried cooking up the cabbage like plants at the station? 'Brockley cabbage', Mmmm. . . .

Tamsin said...

The thing about routemasters was that if you were stuck in a traffic jam and would be better off walking you could get off the thing.

Two memories - the adrenalin rush and satsifaction of catching up with one at lights and hopping onto it. And a visibly pregnant conductor having to go up and down those back stairs in defiance of any sensible working practice. O, also how true to life the Flanders and Swann song is and the announcement "'Oban only" - it seems a long way to Scotland...

Anonymous said...

On the danger list HH you missed, cyclists who dont use any part of the Highway Code.

Ladywell Borders said...

I'm very interested to know why Oyster top ups were cancelled at New Cross Gate Station when TFL took over the management. Surely this is at cross purposes with the eventual plan to extend Oyster PYG to zone 2???? I know you only need to cross the road to top up, but it really boggles the mind that they are reducing even more services at a very busy station.

Headhunter said...

Yes anon, there are also loony cyclists.

Although I didn't cycle in Londn when Routemasters were still running, I can imagine they would have been troublesome for cyclists with there open rear decks. When traffic snarls up and stops moving, cyclists (and motorcylists) are allowed to filter through it. I can imagine that a few accidents occured as cyclists were filtering past a Routemaster only to be whacked as someone jumped off in front of them without looking. At least with buses with doors you can be assured that no one is suddenly going to leap off/on the bus in front of you at completely random points.

hard done by said...

Not only is Brockley's transport system slowly being choked, but I've just noticed that on Google maps there is a label saying "Honor Oak Park" right next to St Johns station (visible once the map is at 1000+ feet).

Just shows how important this area is, doesn't it??

Headhunter said...

The GPS system in my Nokia phone also claims that I live in Honor Oak (I live firmly in Brockley, on Manor Avenue)

Boxy said...

The routemasters were fantastic for 1950's London we obviously times have changed. We inhabit a much busier city and that coupled with the culture of litigation and blame would place too high a risk of liability for accidents that would threaten the viability of running a Routemaster style bus service.

NJ said...

I've come to this a bit late but thought it worth flagging up the feigned interest the Lib Dems showed to this campaign (back on the South London line). They repeatedly sent broken links to the petition and gave no response when this was pointed out to them. No wonder the protest fell on deaf ears. I think I'd have preferred no campaign rather than an insincere one.

Anonymous said...

As opposed to cyclists who jump on the pavement when when the lights are not in there favour.

Tamsin said...

@boxy. Routemasters looked risky - and people took risks with them, but I think there are more accidents with the automatic doors closing on people than there were with the hop-on hop-off happy-go-lucky concept of the open rear platform. The main issues, though, are disabled access, capacity and employee comfort. I mentioned earlier the pregnant conductor going up and down the stairs and the driver was in a terrible position, right over the engine.

Headhunter said...

I said anon (the same anon?) there are stupid cyclists. But at least a cyclist jumping on the pavement or going through a red light is unlikely to kill anyone except themselves, whereas speeding motorists, a motorists on mobiles, drink drivers etc kill thousands of pedestrians per year.

The cyclist is not your worst enemy although many Londoners seem to think that they are more likely to die under the wheels of a bicycle than a car the way they go on.

Headhunter said...

Tamsin - I seriously doubt that the closing doors of modern buses would cause injury other than perhaps a bit of a dirty stain on clothes! Whereas I saw a couple of near nasty accidents with people jumping on and off Routemasters, especially the number 38 that used to run from the West End to NE London.

Routemasters were hopelessly low on capacity, I remember frequently waiting for over an hour to be able to catch one from central London back home in Islington, simply because they would be full literally 2 stops into their route.

Late in the evening/early hours, p*ssed people would literally try to fight their way onto them and get pushed off by other passengers/the conductor as the bus pulled away. I have memories of watching the number 38 pulling away from stops on Charing X Rd, drunken youths spilling off the back platform into the road as it pulled away, hopelessly over full.

The Routemaster was waaaay past its sell by date.

Tamsin said...

I agree - I said in my post that the current issues were capacity, disabled access and treating the bus company employee's with half-way decency. However there were some quite serious incidents that I know of with the elderly or infirm being caught in the closing doors.

I can also recall the crowding and the difficulty of the conductor in then getting round to sell the tickets. And one memorable occasion my daughter who was then about nine got onto a no 36 from Paddington ahead of us but we were prevented from following - she did a quick turn around and leapt off again before the bus pulled away!

Headhunter said...

When the number 38 changed to a bendy it was amazing. Suddenly I didn't have to wait for an hour simply to be able to get on a bus home. When the old Routemaster used to ply that route I used to get so sick of waiting and of the crush as the surge of people on Charing X Rd trying to get on any 38 that stopped, that I would often just walk the 45 minute to an hour home to Islington.

Danja said...

But at least a cyclist jumping on the pavement or going through a red light is unlikely to kill anyone except themselves

As a (now rather ex) cyclist (and one who to his shame has hit a pedestrian) this assumption is common, but a bit stupid. A cyclist is at least as likely to injure (or kill) the ped he/she hits as themselves.

Luckily I hit a burly bloke, but if it had been someone more vulnerable it could have been a very different story.

Headhunter said...

How is that stupid? How is being hit by a cyclist (perhaps a couple of hundred pounds at most) travelling at perhaps 15mph going to hurt as much as being hit by a car (a wall of metal and glass, about 2 tonnes) travelling at 30mph if not way more?

Even if the car hit you at 15mph (same speed as the cyclist) it's certainly going to hurt more! Or worse a van or lorry, at the same speed! In fact the latter may kill you, the cyclist is highly unlikely to, whether the pedestrian is a "burly bloke" or not!

Not that I'm defending reckless cycling, but I think that the constant carping about dangerous cycling by people in London is completely out of perspective with real dangers on the road.

Pedestrians too need to pay ore attention. I have also hit pedestrians on a couple of occasions, basically when motor traffic is at a standstill and they walk off the pavement without looking for cyclists or motorcyclists, often whilst texting, changing tracks on the ipod, looking for something in their bag etc etc.

In fact I almost hit a guy last night. It was dark, I was in the cycle lane, the motor traffic was jammed and moving very slowly so he decided it would be a good idea to cross between the slow moving cars, so he dashed out in front of me. My front wheel literally passed through the back of his long coat. A moment later and we would both have hit the deck.

Danja said...

Cyclist accidents are rarely a car driving at 30mph into a stationary cyclist (or at 50 into a cyclist going 20). Often glancing blows knocking the cyclist off or sending them into obstacles, or pulling out infront and presenting a more or less stationary object in front of moving cyclist. In any of those, it is the cyclist's own speed and momentum which causes the damage. As those lovely 'seatbelt in the back' adverts show, that momentum could be equally as dangerous to someone else as to the cyclist.

Of course peds should be careful and some aren't and that is stupid and irresponsible too, but that isn't an excuse or defence for some cyclists being rash and dangerous at times. I find that as annoying as the drivers who behave aggressively to cyclists because some cyclists break the law.

As to frequency, I've nearly been hit by two cyclists going 20/30 mph in the last couple of years. Once crossing the road on a green man in the middle of a crowd of people when some jerk decided the gap which was too small was big enough to enable him to jump the light, and the other when two cyclists racing each other bunny hopped at speed onto a pavement (in order to skip a pedestrian crossing on red) and came around a corner straight at me.

I've had no close incidents with any other type of vehicle, so I can see where anti-cyclist stuff comes from. I don't share it, but I can understand it. The cycling community generally doesn't seem to be capable of facing up to the fact there is a problem yet (I know there are exceptions) and I think that does it any favours.

Danja said...

'don't think', obviously

Headhunter said...

Of course there are reckless cyclists who give the rest of us a bad name however I really don't understand the furore and negativity and finger pointing at cyclists, yet the resigned acceptance that very often cars speed, drivers use mobiles whilst driving/do their make up etc, park illegally/dangerously, run red lights (every morning I see drivers run red lights), yet people don't go on about it.

When you mention that you cycle in London, the response is often something about running red lights or riding on the pavement. When you say you drive in London there is no similar response about speeding which is often far more dangerous.

The attitude often seems to be that cyclists need to bastions of perfection on the road, yet motorists can more or less do as they like, yet ironically motorists cause more casualties than cyclists ever could (not that it's a competition).

fabhat said...

headhunter - I think a lot of it is about people expecting cars to be on the road - when you step onto the road you are expecting to deal with cars/motorbikes/cycles (even if not all pedestrians behave like it!) If I am walking on the pavement I am not expecting to deal with a bike. Or at least I am on a regular basis, but it isn't a shared space. So if a bike runs a red light while I'm crossing the road there is no difference in the way I react - I yell at it in the same way I do at a car. If it's on pavement - forcing me into the curb or to step out of the way on the pavement, or worse, coming up at some speed behind me, scaring or making me jump out of the way then it makes me much angrier, because it shouldn't be there...

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

HH

James May's article in last Saturday's Telepgraph gives you part of the answer...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/columnists/jamesmay/6251683/Regulation-will-spell-the-end-for-bicycles.html

Headhunter said...

Fabhat - I'm not trying to defend reckless cycling, as I said, I just find it bizarre that so much attention is focused on dangerous cycling with articles galore in the Daily Wail and Evening Standard about those nasty cyclists ALL running red light and ALL cycling on the pavement ALL the time. I just think we need a bit of perspective. Thousands of people die per year under the wheels of reckless motorists.

As for registration and insurance of cyclists, it has already been tried in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Canada and in all 3 places it has failed, largely due to the costs of implementation and enforcement. It would cost millions to set up a DVLA equivalent for bikes and yet more millions for the police to enforce it. Also who has to be insured? Are we talking about 3 year olds on tricycles? Families who have bikes at the back of the garage somewhere that get pulled out twice a year for a summer ride and that's it? Absolutely everyone? If they legislate that only cyclists who complete a certain mileage have to be registered, how do you enforce that? James May is correct that the beauty of cycling is its accessibility. If the government starts to enforce insurance and tax/registration, people will jettison their bikes and get back in their cars or onto already bursting public transport.

It's highly unlikely that in the near future the government will risk anything that will hinder the rise and rise of cycling in major cities like London. It saves money on so many levels. Bicycles cause statistically speaking, zero damage to road surfaces, so the more journeys by bike the lower road repair bills. It also reduces expenditure on public transport in the same way, the fewer journeys on the Tube or bus systems, the fewer Tube trains and buses that need to be run. Then of course there's the environmental argument, London's air quality regularly fails EU standards and I believe we have to pay fines for this. The more cyclists there are the less air pollution there is. Another indirect benefit of course is that cyclists are fitter, the fitter the population, the less strain on the NHS.

Anonymous said...

If only we could tax the smug.

Headhunter said...

The reduction in off peak trains to London Bridge are going to made all the more fun with this revelation. With the Jubilee Line non-operative next year, I hope everyone starts to enjoy Hackney, coz it's going to be increasingly difficult to go anywhere else.

fabhat said...

HH - That link talks about occasional weekend closures next year(annoying) rather than non operative service for peak/off peak hours. Slight difference...

Headhunter said...

I know, but it'll be annoying not to be able to change to the Jubilee at weekends to get into town. I don't use peak services so personally I'm only interested in off peak and weekends.

Mungerloo said...

Always plenty of other ways to get round.

Anonymous said...

"Routemasters looked risky - and people took risks with them, but I think there are more accidents with the automatic doors closing on people than there were with the hop-on hop-off happy-go-lucky concept of the open rear platform. "

I thought this too - and when the routemasters were withdrawn, I was loudly expounding on this view, when a colleague told me his father had died falling from a routemaster platform after running to jump on.

Makes me wonder what the stats are..

Headhunter said...

I can see how someone may be seriously injured or even killed falling/stepping off the back of Routemaster, but injured or killed by the closing doors of a bendy bus..... How?!

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Paul

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