Southeastern’s Olympic service cuts – a few more details

Following on from last week’s story about planned rail service cuts during next summer’s Olympics, above is part of a graphic produced by Southeastern to explain these at a meeting last Thursday. Click on the image to see the whole graphic, or click here to see the whole presentation (Powerpoint, 7.2MB).

There’s little more that will be of interest to SE London rail users (unless you travel from Charing Cross to Hayes), but I thought you’d appreciate seeing where last week’s story came from. It wasn’t plucked out of thin air, as one Greenwich councillor implied in an e-mail to an anxious constituent who’d read this blog.

The timetables are up for consultation until May 6 – but that’s to “stakeholders”, not real travellers. If this angers you, your local councillor (Greenwich / Lewisham) can make your feelings heard as they should by now be aware of the plans. London Travelwatch has said it is keen to hear from travellers.

As for the Greenwich councillor who replied to to that enquiry with “There is an old saying that ‘a false rumour is half way round the world before the truth has put its boots on’ – I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this proved to be an example of this” – I hope he’s big enough to say sorry to his constituent, and to make a big enough noise to help make sure this doesn’t happen.


  1. Thank goodness for blogs like this as Southeastern have zilch on their website about this. The last info they published was 5 October 2010!

  2. To be fair to said councillor, I was also told this:

    “We are going to get a briefing from officers in the Council’s transportation team to elicit the facts about this.”

    But I was a bit put out by the implication that 853 would publish something without a good source to back the story up. Not what I would expect and I have been reading this blog for months.

    I was also told the above by another of the three councillors I emailed so I look forward to getting some more information soon. The Council’s Transportation team had a meeting with southeastern yesterday so I look forward to some more information from my ward councillors once they have it off the transportation team.

    I will forward any further information to 853.


  3. Thanks Darryl for posting more info on this. I have a PDF of that presentation from elsewhere – never did get time to post the link on the comments page to back up the original story.

    In other news, after emailing my ward councillors, MP, Mayor’s office and Travelwatch, I’m still waiting to hear from any of them. Greenwich Time did get in touch to ask me to re-write the original councillor mailing into less than 250 words for publication next week – i did this and have yet to hear anything more. Time hit the phones perhaps?

  4. […] Elsewhere, Southeastern have started to announce their plans for running trains during the Olympics. The TOC is in the unenviable position of serving four stations to be used as venue access points: Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton and Woolwich Arsenal. Because of the expected extra crowds, Southeastern are proposing reducing the number of trains calling at other stations, the routes from some and closing Woolwich Dockyard for the duration of the Games. You can see the detail on the excellent 853 blog. […]

  5. I did exactly the same as Chris and only had a response from London Travelwatch and two out of three Greenwich councillors. Emails were sent Tuesday.

    Might re-send them this weekend.

  6. You can see from the original blog that I sent an e-mail to the Transport chappie who is my concillor.

    No reply also. I suppose I should I have sent it to all three.

    Still there’s a Charlton station user’s group meeting coming up (early May I believe, know its at the Liberal Club) so I can potter along to that.

    Sorry to muck around but I’m pretty sure that the users group meeting is just AFTER the ‘consultation’ process closes. Typical!

  7. The Charlton users’ group was only made aware of the consultation after the meeting date was set, unfortunately…

  8. Okay, thanks for that Darryl, I wonder if the council decided on the consultation date after they knew when the meeting was to be held?!

    I love a conspiracy theory, and if it annoys councillors who like quoting old adages as you illustrate in your piece, then please can they reply to my e-mails!!


  9. It’s Southeastern’s consultation, *not* the council.

    Councillors were unaware of this until I published the story last week. One chose not to believe it, of course.

  10. Well, it’s running a Saturday service on the bank holiday Friday, which is more than the crappy Sunday service it usually dishes up.

  11. Hi Darryl,

    Any idea what happens further along the line? The graphic only goes as far as Woolwich – do you have any information how the Olympics will affect people living in Plumstead, Abbey Wood, Belvedere, Erith, Slade Green and Dartford? Ta muchly so for any feedback.

  12. Finally got a response from the Mayor’s office. Apparently he has no control over the rail companies. So I’ve written back asking him to consider taking control of them at least for the time of the Olympics, on the basis that London is “his” city and so he has more than a passing interest in taking control.

    Looking at it strikes me that in order to do my dayjob (which can only happen on-site in W1 for various reasons) I’ll be spending up to 4.5hours extra per day just getting into and out of the city – completely barking if you ask me.

  13. Oh, and in that same email I took them to task on the wider arrangements as detailed on the London2012 site, including asking them how if Westcombe Park is a “Public Transport Hotspot” as shown on Map 18, SouthEastern can be allowed to CUT services running through that station.

    Apparently the entire planning model relies on the rest of London cutting it’s transport requirements by 1/3, even to provide the planned delays shown in the currently-available documentation.

    I’m sure it makes sense to someone…

  14. Hugh – all that was announced is in that presentation.

    Abstractnoise – I’d be interested to see the response from the mayor’s office. Considering Greenwich borough narrowly voted in Boris Johnson’s favour at the last election, you’d think he’d be keener to act as an advocate in favour of SE Londoners.

    Of course, Boris’s challengers might also like to act as an advocate too.

    As for the “business advice” – I’d always assumed it was a worst-case scenario. Whoops.

  15. Don’t expect Lewisham councillors (ie New Cross or Evelyn Wards covering Deptford station) to have any idea of what’s going on…

  16. And don’t expect Southeastern to change their plans! They don’t listen to anyone. I don’t respect politicians as a rule but even the Coalition have performed some pretty spectacular U turns of late. I’m sure they must envy the management of Southeastern!

  17. Hugh – the only information I have is what’s in the presentation.

    Sue – Greenwich’s councillors didn’t until they read this website.

    Kevin – if you don’t try…

  18. Maybe we should all send a mass email with this article link to every councillor in each of our councils?

  19. Hi Darryl

    I agree with your sentiment that we should try to influence Southeastern, however from previous experience I doubt if they will change their plans. I think that we just have to play the long game and put our efforts into ensuring that GoVia is denied the franchise when it is renewed next.

  20. Still waiting for responses from Nick Raynsford MP, Mary Mills, Dick Quibell and Miranda Williams. If any of you are reading this, please get in touch ASAP.

  21. Chris/Abstractnoise – could you pick one username and stick with it, please? It makes conversations easier to follow. Thanks.

  22. Still waiting for a response from my Peninsula councillors about the southeastern-transportation meeting of the 14th of April. Bit annoyed.

  23. Still waiting.

    End of southeastern consultation period comes closer.


    Time to write another email.

  24. I have put this response on the newer thread, but thought it would be useful to add it here too:

    Thanks for some of you on this thread who sent your comments to London TravelWatch to help us form our response. Our response can be seen via the link below.

    As you will see from the link, we object strongly to these proposals, both on behalf of those who will travelling to the Olympic Games and those who will need to go about their normal business.

    London TravelWatch, May 2011

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