Crofton Park train switch?

Friend of BC Patrick writes:

The South London Press reports that:

The number of direct trains to Victoria will be slashed from several South London stations from May onwards. Direct trains to Victoria from Clapham High Street, Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye will be cut to two trains per hour with no service after 7.30pm or on Sundays. 

The first cut will come in May when trains rerouted to Victoria while Blackfriars station is upgraded return to the redeveloped station. The Inner South London line, which runs between London Bridge and Victoria, via Peckham Rye, will be scrapped in December. This will leave just one direct route into Victoria from Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, and Clapham High Street – Southeastern’s service to and from Dartford.

It suggests that the only service from Nunhead, Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill to Victoria after May will be the current Dartford service, so there won’t be any trains after 7.30pm on weekdays and none on Sundays.

This must logically mean that Crofton Park trains will go back to using Blackfriars from that date also, and not only on Saturdays, which they used to do, but also on Sundays as well, when historically they’ve always gone to Victoria on Sundays even before the Thameslink upgrade.

If anyone can confirm or correct Patrick's analysis, please let us know and we'll update this article.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Monday to Friday, the Crofton Park Thames Link Service has been stopping at Blackfriars since early December 2011 until approx 9.30pm when the service switches to Victoria. 2 weeks ago Blackfriars underground station also reopened providing access to District and Circle lines and an easy route to Victoria.

I have no idea what impact (if any) the changes you mention will have on Crofton Park Saturday / Sunday service to Victoria. If anyone else does. Please advise.

Anonymous said...

The service to Victoria will get scrapped when Thamelink becomes fully operational but not yet. The article is written on the basis of peak communter time only.

THNick said...

Article is a bit scaremongery as well. Refers to lots of "cuts" when in fact they mean "going to a different destination".
I thought these details were still up in the air, including the possibility of the Victoria-Dartford service being scrapped.

Tamsin said...

One does need to be on the ball at a very early stage, though. Otherwise things are set in stone in the totally immutable contracts and franchise renewalos with, it seems, the passengers (oh, sorry, "customers" - we spend money but don't actually get to where we want to go) being the last people whose convenience or wishes are taken into consideration.

mb said...

Not sure that's necessarily the case Tamsin. There are limied slots and limited space for all the different services. It's an easy dig to say the TOCs are just maximising profits, they are only one of the stakeholders setting the service limits. It's hellishly complex, I agree that fewer contractural steps between the variosu parties would at least make accountabilities clear.

As for 'customers' well you can argue about that all day. You could credibly argue that 'Customer' aknowledges that you are paying for a level of service and expect that contract to be honoured, whereas a 'passenger' is just a unit of flesh and bone to be moved around. I'm fairly relaxed about the semantics.

LMK said...

I'll be quite upset if we lose the Victoria route altogether from Crofton Park. I can't be the only person who finds it very useful getting to the other half of London easily.

Anonymous said...

I use Ladywell Station so I don't care

Anothermous said...

Thanks for letting us know. There are probably a few articles around here you could comment on...

Anothermous said...

Come to think of it, have you ever been compelled to try a 'hamburger'?

Tamsin said...

Gosh, I went all Spanish with franchise "renewalos" didn't I.

It's just a long standing rankle from the loss of the direct Charing Cross service - where the agitating passengers/customers were passed around from pillar to post with no-one taking responsibility until we were ultimately informed that because all the slots had been allocated to one wholly owned subsidiary of Govia who had got in and renewed their franchise first there was no possibility of amending that contract to allow the second wholly owned subsidiary to take them up.

But not my concern so I should stay quiet about it - and just continue to take the bus if I want to go to Victoria.

Tamsin said...

PS At the risk of boring people by plugging Telegraph Hill Festival events when relevant... Trains, travel and termini - two BTF films, The Elephant Will Never Forget and Terminus being shown on a couple of occasions - unfortunately 6pm and 2pm so not ideal for those in work.

Lou Baker said...

There are three issues here: Thameslink, East London Line extension phase 2 and scaremongering.

Firstly, Crofton Park trains have never really gone to Victoria. Their actual terminus is Blackfriars - they've just been diverted to Victoria in the evenings at weekends while the Thameslink upgrade has been taking place. Obviously it's been going on for years now, so many people may have forgotten but their trains have only been going to Victoria as a temporary measure. So from May - bye bye to all Victoria trains. Unless, of course, they're switched back there because of more engineering works.

On the plus side, the Blackfriars trains now also go to City Thameslink, Farringdon, St Pancras and on to Luton - so there are more direct destinations.

Secondly, the East London Line phase 2. This doesn't affect Crofton Park - but will impact trains from Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill. The new Overground will share the existing track and stations from Highbury and Islington to Surrey Quays. From there it branches off on a new piece of track to a new station (if it's ever finished) at Surrey Canal Road. Then it rejoins a different existing line and will call at Queens Road, Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Road. From there it uses another piece of currently unused existing track to go to Clapham Junction. There will be four trains an hour each way on this route.

HOWEVER - the bad news - these Overground trains will replace the existing Inner South London loop trains from London Bridge to Victoria, which are being axed in December. The impact to this is that Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street lose ALL their direct trains to central London. Denmark Hill and Peckham Rye each lose two trains an hour to Victoria and two trains an hour to London Bridge. They both lose another 2 trains an hour to Victoria in the evenings and weekends as a result of the Thameslink work - with those trains going to Blackfriars instead.

Two proposals were put forwards as potential mitigations for this loss. Firstly, a new twice hourly Victoria to Bellingham service, calling at all stations. Sadly no one would pay the £25m per year needed to run this. Though Boris found more than this to scrap the fabulous bendy buses and to introduce an inferior replacement. So this service won't happen - at least not soon. Secondly, there was the suggestion that the Dartford-Victoria via Nunhead trains, which currently run fast from Denmark Hill to Victoria, should stop at Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road. Sadly some health and safety idiot has decided that because these trains are longer than the platforms that selective door opening is not suitable. This is to protect the few idiots who might get off an inoperable door when there is no platform there. Seriously. Professional arsehole if you ask me.

So, yes, the Victoria trains are going. And if you live near Clapham High Street or Wandsworth Road you're seriously adversely affected. That along with axing all the direct trains between Denmark Hill and London Bridge (Kings College Hospital and Guys) makes it clear that all this has been ill-considered by some pillock in an office in north London.

Anonymous said...

It's only about 10 minutes by tube from Blackfriars to Victoria, so timewise not a major issue, especially if you'd be switching onto the tube at Victoria anyway, but I guess that counts as two journeys on your Oyster card - not so good.

patrick1971 said...

"Firstly, Crofton Park trains have never really gone to Victoria. Their actual terminus is Blackfriars - they've just been diverted to Victoria in the evenings at weekends while the Thameslink upgrade has been taking place. Obviously it's been going on for years now, so many people may have forgotten but their trains have only been going to Victoria as a temporary measure."

Not strictly true, Lou. True as regards evenings and Saturdays, but Crofton Park trains have always terminated at Victoria on Sundays (or certainly at least since 1996).

There's been a real lack of transparency about what will happen after Thameslink is finished; will Crofton Park trains go through the Thameslink core seven days a week or will they revert to going to Victoria on Sunday only? I don't much care either way but it'd be good to know, which is why I was interested to infer from that article that even on Sunday Crofton Park trains would go through the Thameslink core.

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