Last Friday (21 October), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, and Louie French, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, held an hour-long meeting with Southeastern Managing Director, Steve White, and his team to discuss the changes to the rail timetable from December 2022.
Both Sir David and Louie highlighted the negative impact the alterations will have on rail users in Bexley, which include the end of direct services to Charing Cross on the Bexleyheath line in off-peak and weekends, the withdrawal of all Charing Cross services on the Woolwich line, the loss of off-peak Cannon Street services on the Sidcup line and a significant reduction of services for passengers at Albany Park.
Sir David commented: “Quite frankly these changes are inconsiderate, unfair and lack any logic. Not only will the new timetable result in significant disruption for commuters to Charing Cross travelling outside of peak hours, but will also have a considerable impact on those travelling for leisure at the weekends, where the main destination would traditionally be Charing Cross. Additionally, the requirement to change trains at London Bridge will add unnecessary stress and time for passengers requiring assistance. I have urged Southeastern to reconsider and at least look at the possibility of adding some additional services”.
Louie said: “I am very concerned and disappointed over Southeastern’s timetable changes and the impact these will have on passengers. In particular, I am concerned over the significant impact of the loss of off-peak Charing Cross services on the Bexleyheath line, the loss of the loop line on the Sidcup line and the significant reduction in Albany Park services. Sir David and I used this meeting with Southeastern to push back against these major changes.
“Given that Bexley does not benefit from direct access to the Underground, rail services are the principle means of transport into and out of London, as well as for travelling to other areas in the South East. As such, it is important that our frequency and links to a range of Central London stations is preserved, and Sir David and I will continue to stand up for this.”