Grayling threatens to axe some South East trains to London 

The Department for Transport has published a consultation document looking for responses to its ideas for awarding the next franchise.  It admits Southeastern passengers have had a raw deal and details necessary improvements.  But it also sets out possible cuts to connections.

The South East franchise is one of the largest in the UK, operating over 1900 services daily. It is split between Metro routes, operating mainly within the M25 area, Mainline routes between London and Kent and Sussex and High Speed routes linking St Pancras with  towns in Kent such as Dover and Canterbury. 

Overcrowding on peak services, delays and cancellations have led to high rates of passenger dissatisfaction. The main improvements proposed so far are:

  • Thameslink, where at peak times trains will run every 2 or 3 minutes north-south through London connecting the South East to destinations north of London.
  • The Elizabeth Line, formerly Crossrail, which will run from Abbey Wood and Woolwich through central London to Heathrow and beyond.

However, the document states:

“There would be a limit to the improvements that could be made to the timetable without also reducing the number of central London stations served from certain locations at particular times. An example might be for all Metro services on the north Kent (between Dartford and Charlton), Greenwich and Bexleyheath lines to terminate at Cannon Street only.”

That would mean passengers having to change if they wanted to go to Waterloo or Charing Cross, stations that are better connected for central London than Cannon Street. The document asks how far you support the idea. If you don’t, contact them.

You can read the document here.


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