RAIL SERVICES

From 12 January 2015

·         Charing Cross services will not stop at London Bridge until August 2016

·        Some trains will be diverted to alternative London terminals

·        Services along the Greenwich line will alter permanently, with all services now terminating at Cannon Street, and no direct services to Waterloo East or Charing Cross

·        A new Southeastern timetable is in place and we are advising passengers to check if their services have changed. Timetables are available on our website or passengers can plan their journeys at www.nationalrail.co.uk

Travel advice:

For passengers needing to travel to London Bridge, we are advising they take a Cannon Street service, or interchange en-route at the first opportunity.

For passengers unable to complete their journeys on our Cannon Street services, we have arranged for tickets to be accepted on certain London Underground, DLR and bus routes at no extra cost. Southeastern tickets will be accepted at the following London Underground stations:

Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Elephant & Castle, Embankment, London Bridge, Southwark and Waterloo. Southeastern passengers can also use specific TfL bus routes.

Details of are on our website and leaflets giving travel advice and details of ticket validity will shortly be available at stations.

From August 2016 – January 2018

·         Trains to and from Cannon Street will not stop at London Bridge

·         Charing Cross trains will resume stopping at London Bridge

By 2018 Network Rail will have completed the programme and all of our services will resume stopping at London Bridge. Passengers will see a new, larger London Bridge station with brand new facilities and better access to all platforms. The programme will also deliver an improved track layout which will reduce the number of delays in the area, as well as providing improved connections to other UK destinations.

Mike Gibson

Public Affairs Manager

Southeastern

108 Bus Service

David Quarmby, David Walker and Tom Turrell met on 17 July with Mike Weston (Director of Buses), John Barry (Head of Network Development), and a member of John Barry’s team.

Six weeks earlier a detailed note had been sent in to Mike Weston about the performance of the 108 in the morning peak period, from the Blackheath Standard towards North Greenwich, based on four days of survey by David Walker.  This survey showed considerable irregularity of service, with some long gaps between arrivals, and a number of occasions when passengers could not board the first bus and had to wait (paper attached).

London Buses acknowledged the short fall of capacity, and the irregular running making the experience for passengers even worse.  The also acknowledged that the 422 was not considered an acceptable alternative (due to a more circuitous route to North Greenwich and longer running times) and accepted that they had to address and resolve the 108 issues in their own right.

They had worked out plans to insert an extra bus journey in the morning peak period, and were awaiting costs from the operator before finally confirming.  Subject to this, the augmented service will be introduced in October.  There was a discussion at the meeting about using the one additional bus to operate two ‘shorts’ between Lewisham or Blackheath and North Greenwich, rather than one through journey from Lewisham to Stratford;  London Buses preferred the latter for operational reasons and to help maintain a regular service throughout the route.

The poor operational performance of the 108 service was also discussed, and London Buses explained that there were two factors likely to be influencing this. 

First, the operator (Go Ahead) had experienced higher (and unacceptable) levels of mechanical failures and buses not being available for service.  They had now made a decision to increase the available fleet by one, which would provide better cover for breakdown or buses not being available fleet for service, and hopefully eliminate this as a cause for irregularity.  

Second, it was recognised that the road disruption being caused in Lewisham in connection with the Lewisham Gateway development was affecting the running of the 108 – especially as the terminus stand had been moved from next to the station to Thurlston Road under the railway bridge.  The running times had not been adjusted for this, and London Buses would review the scheduled running times and adjust the working timetable accordingly.   This also would help more regular operation.

Over the next few years, the whole network and the capacity of individual services to and from North Greenwich (including the 108) would be reviewed in the light of rapid housing development (particularly Kidbrooke Village but also on the Greenwich Peninsula and along Charlton Riverside).

London Bridge Station

Letter from Network Rail

The most complex part of the Thameslink Programmme is now well underway.   This includes the rebuilding of London Bridge station and laying new track and signalling to create a spacious and better connected station.

London Bridge will stay open during the rebuild.  However, there will be changes to many services up to 2018.

As you may know, there will be periods during this time when services in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Lewisham are particularly affected.

The Thameslink Programme will affect services on the Greenwich line including Greenwich, Deptford, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park as well as services from New Cross and St. John's. 

The layout of the tracks around London Bridge station are being changed.   When the programme is complete, each service will have dedicated routes allowing more trains to run.   The new layout means trains on the Greenwich line are unable to continue on to Waterloo East and Charing Cross.   From January 2018 you'll be able to travel to Waterloo East and Charing Cross by changing at London Bridge.

Impact on the Greenwich line, New Cross and St. Johns: as the programme progresses the services will be affected at different times.  For all passengers from January 2015, for nearly 20 months, services to Waterloo East and Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge. 

Passengers using the Greenwich line from January 2015 onwards:  Charing Cross services will be diverted to Cannon Street.

 Passengers using New Cross and St. John's from January 2015 onwards:  Waterloo East and Charing Cros services will not stop at New Cross and St. Johns. 

For all passengers from August 2016 for nearly 16 months no Cannon Street services will stop at London Bridge.

We're giving passengers an idea of the changes you can expect in advance.   As the programme progresses we'll share more details to help you plan your journeys.

We realise that many people plan their work and domestic arrangements around train services and we're sorry for any inconvenience caused.  We're trying to reduce the impact by sharing alternative travel options including using the DLR, London Underground and buses in advance.

We know ticket acceptance is a concern and we're committed to sharing guidance on ticket acceptance in early 2014.

Passengers can find out more about the programme by visiting:

ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk<http.//www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/>

where they can also sign up for email alerts or by following us on Twitter@TL Programme

South Eastern Franchise Consultation

The South Eastern rail service is in the process of re-bidding and the Department for Transport has been conducting a consultation among stakeholders. Both we and the BVRG have responded focusing on peak overcrowding, more evenly spaced trains (to overcome the 20 - 25 minute gaps in service arrival), additional Blackheath - Woolwich services to access CrossRail and City Airport, increased cycle parking at Blackheath Station and lifts at New Cross (for step free access to/from Overground services).

We appreciate that for much of the franchise period the rebuilding of London Bridge Station will cause major disruption to the operation of the South Eastern Franchise and the service improvements we seek will just not be possible. Our requests for service improvements are for the period post 2018 when the Thameslink project and the station rebuild are both completed and the significantly increased track and station capacity that these projects promise are fully available. 

In the past when we have requested additional passenger capacity be provided (particularly at peak times) the train company of the day has retorted that the main problem is lack of track capacity at Borough Market Junction and through London Bridge Station. With the doubling of track through the junction and the increase in through platforms at London Bridge Station from 6 to 9 we trust these track/station capacity issues are now fully addressed and additional passenger capacity can be provided to the very crowded North Kent Line services.

 

 

 

Transport Information

To check the status of train services from Blackheath click on the link below:
Blackheath Station Live Departure Board

For general information you should visit the TfL website www.tfl.gov.uk  where you can find all the latest information about travel in London, including the very useful Journey Planner.

 

Another useful rail site for the whole of the UK is www.thetrainline.com

When sending comments/complaints to transport operators or managers, please remember to send a copy to the Society
blackheath.soc@lineone.net so that we can be aware of issues and problems and raise them in our regular Transport meetings.

THE NEW SERVICES BLACKHEATH/LONDON. 

"Non commuters should note that while Southeastern has made much of  the fact that there are to be six trains an hour to Charing Cross or Cannon Street during the day, you will now have a maximum wait of 21 minutes for a train to up to town (or 25 if you are going to Charing Cross and don't want to change), rather than 16 mins.  In the evenings, if you miss a train, you will have to wait either two minutes or 28!   You have been warned!.

Proposed Closure of the Exit from Platform 4 at Lewisham Station
With the support of many members and local councillors, the Society is protesting against this plan.

Transport

Blackheath is blessed in many respects with good public transport options. There are numerous bus routes in and out of the Village and at the heart lies the railway. The Society's office is based in Chapman House which is actually the old station master's house so next time you are on Platform 1 by the Way Out sign, look up and you may just see the window!

Chapman House - the side you don't see on Platform 1

Chapman House - the side you don't see on Platform 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© The Blackheath Society