Southeastern hushes up its planned Olympic cuts

Southeastern has published a new page on its website about its plans for London 2012. Well, I say “new”, but something’s been up there since last October. Except the date has changed, and it’s been pushed to the top of its website’s “news” section. Must be new stuff, then.

So what does it have to say about its plans to cut services on the Greenwich line during the Olympics? Well… nothing. There’s a line about there being no extra trains, except late at night…

But what about the impact on daily commuters? Not a bean about plans to close one station and reduce services through five others…

Indeed, no need to bother your pretty heads with all this, because the “stakeholders” are being consulted instead of you…

So you don’t need to worry. But with the “consultation” closing on Friday, perhaps you should. If you haven’t already, consider dropping your local councillor (Greenwich / Lewisham) or MP a line about these proposals for local train services during the Olympics.

normal service Olympics service
Deptford 6 trains/hour 2 trains/hour
Maze Hill 6 trains/hour not known no Kent-bound trains 06.13-12.13
no London-bound trains 12.15-21.45
Westcombe Park 6 trains/hour 2 trains/hour
Charlton 8 trains/hour not known No Charing X services via Lewisham
Woolwich Dockyard 6 trains/hour Station closed
Kidbrooke 6 trains/hour 4 trains/hour No trains to Dartford

Here’s the map shown to a meeting of users’ groups last month… (click to enlarge)

… and here’s the whole Powerpoint presentation. (7.2MB download, link now fixed)

After all, it’s your councillors and your MP who are supposed to be representing you in this “consultation”. So if you feel strongly, drop them a line. And if you’ve done that already, I’d love to hear what they told you.


  1. The deadline certainly is looming!

    Dick Quibell and Mary Mills seem to be pushing the matter inside the council but seem to get getting caught up in logistics and red-tape.

    Nick Raynsford MP wrote to me last week telling me that he’d written to Charles Horton. A reply has just been forwarded to me and I’ll need some time to digest it.

    The Mayor’s office wrote what I took to be a “tough luck” response to my initial enquiry, but have yet to actually answer my original or follow-up questions. Might make those email conversations public if nothing more is heard from them anytime soon.

  2. Thanks, Abstractnoise – good to hear of some movement from the cllrs and with Mr Raynsford.

    Might be worth dropping an Assembly member a line to put some pressure on the mayor.

  3. I agree with Abstractnoise, Mary and Dick have been quite helpful on this matter. Here is a link to the email I received from Dick about this:

    It certainly doesn’t tally with the information Southeastern have on their site but that isn’t a surprise!

  4. Where have the Southeastern Trains Management been for the last few years. The commitment from LOCOG is to have a car free Games as far as possible. It is absurd nonsense to reduce the number of trains during the Games Time when both significant numbers will be trying to get into Woolwich and Greenwich. To argue that people will be travelling out of London is bizarre as there is no indication as to where people will come from. Public transport is key. They need a massive wake up call.

  5. Email from Greenwich councillor Dr Mary Mills this morning:

    “I understand that a response on the Olympic train service has now gone off [to Southeastern and relevant parties, LOCOG etc.] – I am sure Dick [Quibell] will be in touch with you later on the details.”

  6. I e-mailed all three Charlton councillors when you first raised this issue Darryl and I’ve not had a peep out of them.

    Fortunately I’m not directly affected as I don’t use the train any more, but I still bear a huge grudge against SEastern from the time that I did.

    They are a bunch of shysters.

  7. Yes – sure – anyone who likes can lobby me! I have this morning – while I’ve been out and about in East Greenwich – had various people ask me what is going on – and who was consulted. I have been saying to them ‘write in now – and tell South Eastern what you think’.

  8. Hi,

    Since this issue was first brought to councillors’ attention individual councillors have liaised with the lead member on this, Denise Hyland, who has done a great job in trying to get clarification from Southeastern. Of course as local councillors and commuters we understand that these proposals are barmy and seriously let down ordinary passengers in our borough. I’m still furious about the proposals and I personally believe that Maze Hill could be the key to ensuring smooth and less congested journeys to the games and prevent the funnelling at Greenwich.

    Greenwich council will respond to the consultation within the deadline and will represent the views expressed to us from residents.

    I would echo the wonderful Mary’s comments and recommend that you all respond to Southeastern individually as well.

    Thank you to all those that have commented on various sites about the proposal, it has certainly helped me in appreciating the effects of the proposal across the borough.

  9. I forgot to add that as well as Denise, council officers have been working really hard behind the scenes on this.

  10. Three councillors on one post. Crikey.

    One question for all three of you – why has Greenwich Council’s *weekly* newspaper failed to follow this story up? If Greenwich Council’s response is as stern as I’m informed it is… why isn’t this in Greenwich Time?

  11. I would say that local councillors are like buses but before another form of transport is cut I shall resist!

    I don’t think any of us can answer that question because we have no involvement in GT editorial. I can, however, make the suggestion but as I said it’s not something we individually have control over for all the right reasons and there might be good reasons why it hasn’t featured in there so far, or plans for it to do so in the coming weeks. Either way local councillors are all over this issue.

  12. “As local councillors and commuters we understand that these proposals are barmy and seriously let down ordinary passengers in our borough. I’m still furious about the proposals and I personally believe that Maze Hill could be the key to ensuring smooth and less congested journeys to the games and prevent the funnelling at Greenwich.”

    I completely agree with this Hayley and I am very pleased to see that various Greenwich councillors are now publicly responding to these proposals.

    I think Maze Hill is a very important station to the Olympic events in Greenwich and LOCOG need to seriously stand up to these ridiculous proposals. I would hope for a combined effort from Greenwich Council and LOCOG to give Southeastern a serious kick up the arse. They very much need one.

    I travel on this line every day and this is a really opportunity to confront southeastern and force them to do better. I don’t hold much faith in help and support from our national government due to the recent franchise extension.

    Greenwich Council prove yourselves please!

    P.S. Please feature this in Greenwich Time! I will write another IMO article if you like!

  13. Note: The train I am on right now is late in Charing Cross. Again. Thanks southeastern!

  14. Greenwich Time did offer to print a letter/article I copied them in on (originally it was addressed to the Mayor and others) but they pulled the plug because of a reference to a blog. According to Peter Godfrey:

    “I think it would have had more of a chance if the blog entry had not been mentioned because not everyone is into blogs (they say there are lots about GT, including personal ones about me, but I’ve never seen any of them). Perhaps if you made your points again without the blog reference, we could consider it again.”

  15. Thanks Hayley – and can I back up what you say. Denise worked very hard on the response – and I know that Chris Roberts added bits in to strengthen it (he texted me at midnight – thank you, Chris!). But also to echo what Hayley says that we have no input whatsoever into Greenwich Time – although I know they read this blog.
    Lara – I started commuting on that line (in those days from Gravesend) in the late 1950s. It was actually worse then – with all the smog and that – and it improved a lot in the 1960s. Since then it has gone down and down and down. Overcrowded, unreliable and dirty.

  16. Couldn’t Greenwich Time have cut the blog reference out? I mean, they’re journalists, not propagand-… oh.

    (Abrastractnoise – are you mixing Greenwich Council head of press Stuart Godfrey up with Greenwich Time’s Peter Cordwell?)

  17. Regarding Greenwich Time, I am a bit confused as why blogs cannot be mentioned in the newspaper.

    I am going to point Stuart Godfrey/@greenwichcouncl in this direction so he can comment (if he wants to obviously).

  18. Gah! 2nd comprehension fail of the day. Yes, I did mean Peter Caldwell. Stuart was copied in on the message.

    Guess that’s what happens when I try to comment on stuff while using one of SouthEastern’s late CHX services!

  19. I trust that Councillors Mills and Fletcher (H) will take time off from forelock tugging and publish the Greenwich Council response so that we can all decide for ourselves how good it is.

  20. Paul ‘ex-Lib Dem councillor’ Webbewood – I think that comes across a bit rude. I know for a fact that Mary is waiting for this information from a colleague.

    P.S. I’m a Lib Dem voter too so be nice.

  21. Please tell Paul Webbewood that it is there is a difference between ‘publishing’ and ‘sending out copies’.

  22. Hi Paul,

    I understand that the Council will publish the response on the website in due course which I hope satisfies your concern. There’s nothing to hide.

    on a separate, light-hearted note, your comment about forelock tugging reminded me of my favourite song from Father Ted which cheered me up today:

  23. Thanks to all involved in publishing this/sending out copies.

    I can’t find any fault with the Greenwich Council reply, lets see whether LOCOG and Southesatern listen.

  24. Hear hear Paul. Let’s hope they listen to the serious concerns of Greenwich residents

  25. 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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