Louie French has continued to fight against Southeastern timetable changes including in a Westminster Hall debate where he called for urgent concessions and reversal of the new timetable.
In the debate, Louie raised particular frustration over the lack of consultation and the drastic nature of the changes including the significant reduction in Albany Park services, the loss of off-peak Charing Cross services on the Bexleyheath line and the ending of the rounder service on the Sidcup line.
Furthermore, Louie also raised concern over the purpose of the timetable changes which Southeastern have stated have been demand-led and to reduce crossovers in Lewisham. Louie stated that he fundamentally disagreed with that reasoning, especially given the consistent increase in passenger numbers since the pandemic and the £250 million investment in junction works at Lewisham over the past couple of years.
Louie also asked for the Rail Minister’s commitment to the future of Albany Park Station which is frequently used in a residential area with limited alternative transport connections. In response the Rail Minister confirmed that there are no plans in place to close Albany Park Station.
During the debate, Louie said:
“I emphasise again my disappointment and outrage at the lack of consultation for such drastic changes, which will have a detrimental impact on my constituents and their ability to travel for work, school and leisure. Given that Bexley does not benefit from direct access to the underground, rail services are the principal means of transport into and out of London, as well as for travelling to other areas in the south-east. It is therefore vital that the frequency and links to a range of central London stations are preserved. I continue to call for urgent concessions and reversals to many of the changes, particularly ahead of the new timetable in May.”