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No to Train Cuts 4 November 2009

Posted by Philip Peake in Transport.
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Southern Trains have announced that they’re planning to scrap the train service to and out of Charing Cross in the evening from December, and also to cut the number of evening rush-hour trains out of London Bridge from 6 to 4 per hour next May. The line serving Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park has been recognised as being one of the most overcrowded in London.

Southern’s decision follows them winning the new franchise contract from the Government, in which the Department for Transport have removed the requirement to operate these services. There’s quite a few reasons for the cuts, a big one being that the DfT and rail companies have completely rejigged the timetable to provide more services from higher fare paying passengers in mid-Kent, meaning the DfT save subsidy money on the franchise.

I’ve written to the Transport Minister, Sadiq Khan MP, and have pointed out the discomfort this will cause to our constituents and asked him for a meeting, and to experience with us just how packed the rush-hour trains are for himself. Lib Dem chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon has already volunteered to join us and has signed the letter, along with councillors from other parties and the Labour MPs and Mayor of Lewisham.

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