One of the bonuses of living in Charlton is having access to a relatively decent train service – eight trains per hour, including trains to the must-visit destinations of Blackheath and Lewisham. Hell, there was even a train which called at St Johns for a while, and there’s not many people who have had the privilege of one of those. Charlton station even has its own unoffical cat, although it’s dawned on me that I haven’t seen it prowling the platforms for a while – is it still around? In a better world, all stations would have cats.
In a better world, you’d also have more say about what goes on at your local station. Charlton station’s often left a mess at the weekend, and information posters are often placed in spots that many of its users do not even pass. Luckily, it looks like there’s a chance to get involved, with an inaugural meeting of the Charlton Station Users’ Group on on Tuesday 30th March at 7pm, at Charlton Liberal Club on Charlton Church Lane. (Like the Conservative Club almost next door, the days when these places had anything to do with politics are long gone.) “The club and the group will be strictly non party political and the three proposed objectives are improving Charlton station and its environment; monitoring the rail service and being a formal timetable consultee and improving public transport connectivity,” it says here.
Me? I’d like to see the placed staffed day and night – as London Overground stations are – but I can’t see that being on the agenda under the current franchise. Making sure the place is clean and attractive would be a start, though. How about tweaking the 472 bus so it stops outside the station, boosting the service up to North Greenwich? And I’d like to see the Lewisham trains stop at New Cross, for easy interchange with the East London line. That’s my wish list. I might even bring it along on Tuesday.