Fighting for better train services

Local MPs Nick Raynsford and Bridget Prentice are urging South Eastern Trains to review rush hour services to and from Blackheath station, following the introduction of a new timetable in December.

Their campaign is backed by Blackheath Westcombe ward Labour Councillor Alex Grant and Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Lewisham East, Heidi Alexander.

At a recent meeting with South Eastern, the concerns of hundreds of Blackheath commuters were spelled out to the company’s Managing Director, Charles Horton.

Speaking at the meeting, Nick Raynsford said:

“Whilst the principle of timetable changes was consulted on many years ago, the devil is in the detail. There has been a significant reduction in the number of trains between 7.45 and 8.45am and this is causing a great deal of misery for my constituents. Something needs to be done.”

Pushing for longer trains in the morning rush hour to ease overcrowding, Heidi Alexander added:

“Being stuck on an overcrowded train can be awful and so we need to understand what quick changes South Eastern can make to relieve this problem. Some trains that call at Blackheath in the morning are only 6 or 8 cars long. If all trains could be made into 10 car services, this would at least be a start.”

South Eastern are conducting a study of overcrowding on all their services and will be making a decision about whether to lengthen rush hour trains from Blackheath for the new May timetable.

Lewisham East MP Bridget Prentice said:

“We are meeting South Eastern again next month for a progress report and we will get an update on their overcrowding study. We will want to know what changes can be made to improve the situation for local commuters.”

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