Sunday, April 17, 2011

Train Services Cut for the Olympics

At a recent meeting of stakeholders, Southeast trains revealed their plans for 2012, summarised above (click to enlarge). The difficult to read blue on blue text reveals that there will be a dramatic reduction in services on the Greenwich Line, with a total suspension of service altogether at Maze Hill Station in one direction or the other for most of the day. Ironically, these cuts will not operate at weekends, even the day when most people are expected to use the trains (Saturday 4th August 2012). These closures will operate throughout the period from 27th July to 12th August, even though there will be exceptional numbers travelling to Greenwich on only one day (30th July). Even then, the Equestrian events are expected to attract no more visitors than the fireworks– for which the stations do not close. SE Trains disclosed at the meeting that, contrary to what was claimed, the reason for the closure was not just to allow extra times at event stations to allow people to get on and off; it was a deliberate policy to stop people getting off at Maze Hill, because the station infrastructure and surrounding streets were deemed unsuitable.

At the meeting, the Westcombe Society urged that suspensions of services from Maze Hill and heavy cuts at Westcombe Park not last two whole weeks. Since any problem would be concentrated on only one day, the stations should continue to operate normally for the rest of the period.

Residents of the western part of Westcombe Park would be uniquely disadvantaged. Residents would not be able to walk to the nearest stations (Greenwich, and Cutty Sark DLR - where trains would also not stop) because all foot and cycle paths across Greenwich Park would be closed, as would Charlton Way. As a London Assembly report notes, “the southern approach to the Blackwall Tunnel is the most congested junction in London. An increase in bottlenecks and traffic jams seems inevitable.” Romney Road would probably be virtually impassable for pedestrians, cyclists and buses because many visitors to Greenwich Park would be required to cross the road, even if the area were not gridlocked.

The Westcombe Society has responded to Southeastern Trains rejecting the proposed timetable as “wholly unacceptable”. Click here to see the Society’s response

An extremely useful source of information is the 853 blog, which was the source of the following summary table of services.

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