Victoria to Bellingham line scrapped

The cost of the second phase of the East London Line's second extension - to Clapham Junction - has been revealed by consumer travel group Travelwatch. Plans developed as part of the Rail Utilisation Strategy, which would have replaced the London Victoria to London Bridge service with a service from Victoria to Bellingham have been abandoned.

The service would have stopped at Nunhead, Crofton Park and Catford.

London Reconnections explains:

"It appears that as part of the ELLX Phase 2 funding negotiations TfL approached the DfT and requested that the service be dropped in return for a £24m contribution from the DfT to ELLX2 funding. The DfT, after proposing several conditions, agreed.

"The reasons for the proposal are clear. As TfL themselves indicated in their response to Travelwatch's request for information about the decision, in terms of passenger numbers, the cost-to-benefit ratio for an extended ELL service (approx. 1000 passengers per hour eastbound, 900 west) is far higher than that of the proposed Bellingham service (approx. 650 per hour). In that light, ELLX2 is the far better option mathematically speaking. It will, however, mean that no direct services will run between Victoria and Clapham High Street or Wandsworth Road, and will also likely mean only 2tph between Denmark Hill and Victoria instead of the publically claimed 4tph."


Anonymous said...

The even worse thing, at least for me, is that Shoreditch High Street station on ELL will be zone 1. I was hoping that it will remain in zone 2 as was the old Shoreditch Station.

Headhunter said...

Why is it better for it to be in zone 2? The ELL will inevitably pass through zone 1 anyway so there was never a chance of getting a zone 2 ticket only anyway... Was there?

Anonymous said...

Not sure whether they mean Victoria/Clapham Junction (loop line to LB)or Victoria/Clapham High Street.

too many Clapham stations!

barryls said...


For a relatively small amount £24M, this scheme to reduce congestion has been scrapped.

Can't we at least run Victoria to Bellingham in peak hours?

Not sure how a line from Clapham Jct to New Cross is a subsitute for this.


Anonymous said...

So, I am confused, when the EEl opens, will the train from London Bridge to Victoria still run through Brockley as it does now?

Danja said...

HH - it wouldn't otherwise go through zone 1.

hfksh said...

The zone 1 shoreditch thing is a real stinger. But you get nothing for nothing.

patrick1971 said...

That Zone 1 Shoreditch is a real b*stard! See also Hampstead Heath being in Zone 3, which scuppered most of the North London Line from being in Zone 2. This was scrapped last year after years of campaigning from local residents.

A real shame about the direct Crofton Park - Victoria train being scrapped, although I do see the numbers. I'm sure it'll be introduced later on; I took the 0809 from Crofton Park this week and it was absolutely rammed, but did empty out a bit at Denmark Hill, presumably with people changing to Victoria services.

Don't understand what they mean about "no direct trains from Victoria to Clapham High Street or Wandsworth Road". Where will trains from these stations end up? There's nowhere for them to go but Victoria...?

Headhunter said...

SO they've made it zone 1 to add to revenues by the sounds of it...

Lou Baker said...

The London Bridge to Victoria via Brockley service should, in theory, still run. It's the London Bridge to Victoria via Peckham service that's being abandoned for ELLX2.

What all this shows is how the people of this part of London have been thoroughly misled about the benefits of all these changes.

For us there are very few.

The stations are not being rebuilt, other than a bridge at New Cross Gate and a small section at Surrey Canal there is no new track. There aren't many new trains and most of those that there are will go to far less useful places.

In fact, the two biggest benefits we'll get are that we will, finally, be able to use Oyster prepay. Something that should have been done years ago. And the other benefit is that we'll finally appear on the tube map. That will make our houses more expensive and will, perhaps, bring more money to the area.

What none of these transport 'improvements' will actually do is make it any easier to get to and from here.

Brockley Nick said...

@lou baker - lots of new trains, new direct destinations and new connections actually. Lots of station refurbishment work too.

So what if there's little new track being built? The reason it was cheap and very quick to build (by the usual standards of these things) is that it made smart use of existing infrastructure.

It will bring great benefits, you watch.

Anonymous said...

Actually you'll get a complete fleet of new trains. And why the obsession with new track? You could build a completly separate railway but that would cost tens of billions and involve compulsory purchase of swaths of land - possibly including your house. The ELL is an improvement, on the whole, it's far from perfect but it's relatively cheap and easy. It will improve links to the jubilee line and will link to Docklands which will EVENTUALLY recover and provide jobs. Would you prefer things to stay as they are? I wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

...beat me to it Nick

Tressilliana said...

'empty out a bit at Denmark Hill, presumably with people changing to Victoria services'

Some people change, yes, but I think most passengers pour out into Camberwell on their way to KCH, the Maudsley, the Institute of Psychiatry, the Sally Army training college, Camberwell Magistrates' Court and Camberwell College of Art. Denmark Hill is a very busy station which makes it all the more annoying that the British Rail property board sold off the ticket hall 25 years or so ago for conversion to a pub. We're left with one narrow passageway to get to and from the platforms and one small doorway to get out of the station. Madness.

patrick1971 said...

I agree, Tressilliana. A few weeks back I got the 0809 from Crofton Park and changed at Denmark Hill for Victoria, and not only was the 0809 rammed, but it was extremely slow and, I thought, quite dangerous changing platforms at Denmark Hill. There are so many people trying to change, leave, and enter the station, all going in different directions, and the staircases and passageways are very narrow.

Lou Baker said...

Of course what we're getting is better than no improvements at all. But let's be clear it's not a new railway.

It's exactly the same one that's been there since the Victorians built it - this is just tinkering.

The stations will get a lick of paint but they still won't be made fully accessible.

The trains will be new. But they're short and don't have many seats and will probably be full by the time they get to Brockley anyway.

There will be frequent disruption because this line will be affected if there are any problems on the new Overground or on the Southern network or at London Bridge.

And, despite what's been said, there really aren't many new destinations at all. Everything south of Brockley is already accessible directly (except perhaps West Croydon) as was everything up to Shoreditch from New Cross Gate. But we should be delighted we can all travel directly to Haggerston - not that I expect anyone will want to.

And yes, I do have an obsession with new infrastructure. That is the only way getting around this area will be transformed. It doesn't have to be a big railway, trams or something like the DLR would do.

But these things take so long to happen we have to start talking about them now. Crossrail took 30 years before it got approval, they're now talking about a SW/NE Crossrail 2. So lets put in a claim for Crossrail 3. Brockley to NW London, direct via Central London. Who knows, we may get it by 2050.

And yes it would cost billions. But at some stage it has to be our turn. It can't all keep going to Camden.

Brockley Nick said...

The trains won't be short, the seats will be configured like tube trains because that is essentially what the trains are. The frequency will be much higher than the current frequency and will add to capacity hugely.

As a regular user of the jubilee line, I expect to regularly change at the ell connection rather than than turn up at london bridge hoping the south bound train isn't due in 20 mins or cancelled altogether.

I will be able to get easily to friends and family in hackney and islington, the 02 and Canary wharf will be much quicker to get to and it will open up some interesting but relativley little known parts of london and offer a much more frequent service to handy places like new cross, hoxton and crystal palace.

To my knowledge the stations will be far more accessible than most tube lines and work is far more substantial than a simple lick of paint.

It will also encourage more development along the line(s). The dlr is a classic example. People said it was a useless service that went nowhere, now it is a vital service for east and south east london that has played a key role in the development of places like canary wharf.

Monkeyboy said... an underground system on the route you propose? Dream on.

Why not maximise the utilisation of what we have? that's what we're doing with the Jubilee line, a new signalling system will allow trains to run closer together. Quicker, cheaper than a new system. The Brockley line is nowhere near full.

david said...

I hadn't realised that the plan was to make the new Shoreditch station zone 1 rathe than keep it in zone 2 as the last one was - that seems a very cynical move by tfl.

No doubt there's no way that can be protested/changed etc but the blatant price gouging is annoying.

Val said...

I hadn't realised they were going to maker Shoreditch ZONE 1. Do you think we could get them to include Brockley in the package?

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patrick1971 said...

I agree with Nick. It may seem like the line "goes nowhere", but it'll be very heavily used, I bet, and create a number of newer, easier journey opportunities.

For example: many people now get off the train in the morning at London Bridge and get a bus up to Liverpool Street. These people will now get on the East London Line to Shoreditch, thus removing pressure on the buses and also taking people off the London Bridge trains from Brockley.

Okay, maybe ELL isn't as immediately useful as, say, a Bakerloo extension to Brockley, Lewisham and Hayes would be. But it's going to be well-patronised and I bet in five years we'll all be wondering how we managed without it (c.f. Jubilee Line extension).

Tressilliana said...

People do make all sorts of odd journeys on a regular basis, so any new route is going to attracth passengers who currently do something more circuitous. I remember years ago looking at the list of casualties in the Paddington train crash and being very surprise to see that several people who had been killed lived in SE London and had been travelling to Reading, or wherever the commuter train was heading, for work purposes - not one-off meetings, just getting to their workplace.

Dean Walton said...

'm really enthusiastic about the ELL ad what it can do for local people. Before moving to Brockley I lived closer to Lewisham Town Centre and relied on the overground services with its timetables and the like, when the DLR opened (Elverson Road was my local station) it was a fantastic improvement. Out went the timetables, in came frequent services. Interestingly the journey to London Bridge by DLR door to door (that was my destination) was just as quick by DLR/Jubilee as it was with a 10 minute walk to Lewisham and then a train.

It's not just the destinations that are important (when was the last you went to High Barnet?) but the frequency of the service that can literally transform the impact the service has. The interchange at Canada Water is quick and easy; that at Whitechapel is also straightforward - unlike the interchange at London Bridge - and can be used by people with disabilities/pushchairs/luggage far more easily.

I just hope that they start running services ahead of schedule - my guess is that we'll see test trains running sometime early next year ahead of the official opening.

Headhunter said...

I'm enthusiaistic about the ELL too, as long as it's not brought in at the expense to other useful services and caniving, sneaky fare increases (like sticking Shoreditch in zone 1 for no apparent reason). Kind of takes the shine off things...

Anonymous said...

what is the frequency of trains on the NCG to Dalston stretch going to be?

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