Fewer Trains to Cannon St from Blackheath


Given the huge number of people who depend upon the railway to get around in this part of London, regular train services to a variety of destinations are really important to residents in Lewisham East. Today I took up the concerns of local people in Blackheath about the reduction in the number of Cannon Street trains from Blackheath station in the morning rush hour.

I chaired a strategic meeting between Lewisham Council and our transport partners (the train operating companies, i.e. South Eastern and Southern, Transport for London, Network Rail, the DLR etc) and so this was an opportunity to put local concerns on the table (along with some others concerns from across the borough). Whilst the representative of South Eastern wasn’t actually present, I know the Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock has already written to SouthEastern with the concerns of the Blackheath Society and others and the discussion at the meeting I had today will be fed back to SouthEastern.

Basically, timetable changes are going to be brought in during December which would mean less Cannon Street services stopping at Blackheath during the morning peak. The principle of general timetable changes was consulted upon years ago when “the Integrated Kent Franchise” was being put together but there has been no public consultation since and the specifics of the changes have only recenly become known. South Eastern have been asked to stop more trains at Lewisham station (important becase of the interchange with the DLR) and to divert some other trains onto other lines. This has the effect of less Cannon Street trains at Blackheath.

South Eastern say that the Cannon Street trains which will stop at Blackheath will be starting closer to London (so they should be less packed when the trains reach Blackheath). Whilst this remains to be seen, they also need to monitor the impact of these changes – should there be increased overcrowding on the Cannon St service, they will have to go back to the Department of Transport to see whether the timetable can be changed.

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