New consultation on Southern train services

Want to know why the rest of London hates having to find their way to the South East by train? It's the mind-bending complexity of the services and franchises and the incessant tweaks to the system. And the infrequent services. And the regular breakdowns and delays. And the long interchanges with the Tube system.

The latest DfT consultation about future services offered by the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern franchises is a case in point. Tube trains just follow nice, brightly-coloured lines. No fuss, no muss. Not so, the overland trains.

The consultation documents say:

A new franchise will bring together services currently operated by: First Capital Connect (FCC), including Wimbledon Loop services; Southern, including metro services, and some Southeastern services, including routes serving stations in Southwark.

The franchise will be operational from 2013 (FCC services) and be expanded to include all Southern services in 2015 (to coincide with the start of major works at London Bridge). Some Southeastern services will transfer in 2014 and others yet to be specified on completion of the Thameslink programme in 2018. 

The current consultation seeks views on how the new franchise should be specified i.e. what services and train frequencies should be delivered on which routes within the franchise area. 

The resulting specification will be used as part of the DfT’s procurement process to appoint a new operator, based on their ability to deliver the required services in an effective and efficient manner. Responses to the consultation must be returned to the DfT by the 23rd of August 2012. 

This issue is proving vexatious for various people on the South East London forum, who are worried about the implications for Nunhead and Crofton Park, among other destinations.

Please use this thread (or the forum) to highlight any issues you think should concern us.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yawn indeed & pretty complex document. But simply, Brockley/Crofton Park residents should use the consultation as a chance to lobby for more & better services from Crofton Park (& Nunhead/Catford). At franchise time - this is our only real chance to impact our local train services.

The Thameslink programme promised more trains & that as users of this route (Crofton Park etc.) we should most likely see benefits in more trains per hour. We need to make our voices heard that we use these services & require improved frequency. The current 2 trains per hour, with 3 per hour at peak times is dismal.

Part of the consultation is looking at terminating either the Sevenoaks service (which is the Catford/Crofton Park/Nunhead) or the Wimbledon loop service at Blackfriars, with the other one running right through to St Pancras & beyond. Currently it looks like the Wimbledon one would be the mostly likely choice to terminate at Blackfriars, but Wimbledon/Sutton have huge lobby/pressure groups against this. We need to counter this with our own. (direct to St Pancras/Farringdon etc. gives us much better connections & routes to North London).

I also think we need to request them to tie up their connecting services for our well used routes. For Crofton Park users wanting to travel to Victoria - currently, in evenings & weekends, we can change at Denmark Hill/Peckham Rye, but the connecting services leaves 1 minute BEFORE our train arrives. Incredibly frustrating, & you would think would be one they could resolve quite easily, with benefit to Crofton Park users (a direct service from Crofton Park to Victoria would obviously be better, but i don't think this is on the table at all - so joined up connections are what i will be requesting).

The consultation closes 23rd August. Locals - please help improve our local SE London services & make our voices heard!

Anonymous said...

I find the direct service between Crofton Park to St Pancras route mega useful for catching the Eurostar.

Easy access at Crofton Park and lifts at St.Pancras. Much the easiest and fastest route if you have heavy luggage.

It would be a shame to lose it.

Philsworld said...

Southern also needs to sort out connection times at West Norwood for passengers changing out of the Beck Jct/LB service for stations to Clapham Jct. Anything from 8-13 mins each way which is annoying. Also their Metro services are astonishingly slow. Need
new fast stock or more cars motored and stock fit for purpose like SWT's refurbished units.
Phil
Beckenham

Philsworld said...

Southern also needs to sort out connection times at West Norwood for passengers changing out of the Beck Jct/LB service for stations to Clapham Jct. Anything from 8-13 mins each way which is annoying. Also their Metro services are astonishingly slow. Need
new fast stock or more cars motored and stock fit for purpose like SWT's refurbished units.
Phil
Beckenham

Crofton Steve said...

So what exactly should ordinary Crofton Parkers do to help sort these trains out?

Anonymous said...

I second that. How do we input into the consultation? What are the killer arguments or is it just about the number of people who object?

Anonymous said...

I third that ... Shall we do a group response / petition ?

Anonymous said...

I don't think we need to do anything particularly complex - but as many of us as possible need to email thameslink@dft.gsi.gov.uk headed 'Consultation on the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise' & state what you want to happen on which routes.
ie. As a passenger of the Sevenoaks - Blackfriars service you want a beyond/through service (this one obviously as it's a specific part of the consultation).
Greater frequency of trains from Crofton Park are needed, better connections to ... station are needed eg the... , etc.
& that the franchise agreement should service the passengers as per the views stated above etc.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

My only question is WHEN are they going to sort out the line from London Bridge to Charing Cross? Its a disgrace that such a key piece of infrastructure in London is so shoddy, regardless of its age. To hell with billions for the Olympics and Crossrail, fix this bit of line so trains can do more than 10 mph and save millions of hours of productivity each year.

It currently takes me 22 minutes to do the 6.5 miles from Ladywell to Charing X every morning and yet it then takes me only only 27 minutes to do the 36 miles from Paddington to Reading - thats 18 mph versus 80 mph.

I mean come on people, I think we need to start shouting a little louder about this and maybe Boris will at least discuss sorting it out!

M said...

@Fatty... I agree but isn't it the problem that congestion at London Bridge means trains have to queue?
Once the work there is finished (though God knows when that will be) will this alleviate the problem?

Fattyfattybumbum said...

@ M - granted there is a congestion problem at London Bridge which is partly being sorted, so happy days.

However when trains eventually do get through London Bridge, they creep along sooooo sloooowly and take 8 minutes to cover 1.75 miles. Its so frigging painful after 7 years living in London and doing it twice daily....

david said...

I think the slow nature of the line from London Bridge to Charing Cross is because it's elevated. You can't have trains thundering along like on a track attached to the ground. That said, I'd be interested to know if a cost-benefit analysis has been done because whilst reinforcing all the bridges would clearly be expensive it is a very slow bit of line - even if some of the time is spent at Waterloo East on most services.

M said...

No argument from me. I used to travel on from Waterloo and the SWT trains on that part of the journey rocketed along!

Anonymous said...

Maybe "Fattyfattybumbum" should take up jogging, if the trains so slow?

Anonymous said...

I've just emailed them. Took 5 mins. Do it now if you can & encourage the people next to you on the platform tomorrow morning!
Nick, can you put another reminder a week or so before the consultation closes?

Anonymous said...

Sent the following:

I wish to respond to the consultation on the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise.

As a regular passenger of the Sevenoaks - Luton / St Albans service (my station is Nunhead) I would like to see a beyond / through service that runs through Blackfriars so that I can connect easily to north London. Every day I travel to Farringdon for work and I would have to change trains at Blackfriars to go 2 stops every day if this through link is not maintained.

I would also like to see greater frequency of thameslink trains through Nunhead. Thameslink will be the only train service running through Nunhead in the future (I have heard that the Victoria line will be discontinued) so it is imperative that people in the area remain connected to central London with frequent trains.

South London does not have the transport network that north London does so it is more important than ever to maintain and improve frequent, direct connections to North London - Thameslink is the only service that provides this for us.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree it is worth directly responding to the consultation and urging as many other people as possible to do the same. As someone who uses the route into St Pancras from Crofton Park every day it would be a real shame if it only ran to Blackfriars as this would definitely add time to journeys. We should also all be pushing for more frequent trains via Crofton Park and Nunhead as these stations are in very residential areas but with infrequent peak trains.

Crofton Steve said...

Am on it...thanks!

perplexed said...

@Anon 17.37

That's a very useful post, thanks for taking the time to write it. Is there any chance you (or someone else) could provide specific references (e.g. page or section numbers) for the information you refer to, to save us less diligent types having to replicate your efforts? Including the Thameslink Programme promising more trains?

I think a lot of people would like to join in and campaign, but are struggling to know where to start (I know my brain starts turning to mush as soon as I start reading these types of documents....) Our arguments will be a lot stronger if we can be very specific about past promises and present threats.

Many thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hi

For those who do want to respond Paragraph 7.21 (Page 30 of the consultation) is the main part of the consultation that appears relevant.

Latest Tweets

Brockley Central Label Cloud

Click one of the labels below to see all posts on that subject. The bigger the label, the more posts there are!