Louie French has welcomed the new services on the Southeastern timetable starting from 22nd May 2023 following months of extensive lobbying on the behalf of local passengers.
These are set out below.
As previously announced, the new timetable includes the welcome reinstatement of direct off-peak services to Charing Cross on the Bexleyheath line which will run hourly Monday to Saturday. This includes from Falconwood Station and Welling Station, which are both in the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency, and will benefit passengers on both lines as many people were using Sidcup previously.
This is alongside the introduction of additional peak services on the Sidcup line from the May timetable as set out below:
• 07.03 Crayford to Charing Cross via Sidcup - this should mean the 06:40 Strood to Charing Cross is less crowded. Calling at Higham, Gravesend, Greenhithe, Dartford, Crayford, Bexley, Albany Park, Sidcup, New Eltham, London Bridge, Waterloo East
• 17.43 Charing Cross to Dartford via Sidcup providing more capacity at the busiest time of day
Calling at Waterloo East, London Bridge, Hither Green, Lee, Mottingham, New Eltham, Sidcup, Albany Park, Bexley, Crayford
• 05.24 / 05.54 / 06.24 / 06.54 Dartford to Charing Cross will now start from Crayford to help reduce overcrowding. Calling at Bexley, Sidcup, New Eltham, Mottingham, Lee, Hither Green, Lewisham, London Bridge, Waterloo East
These additional services are coupled with the new 07.33 service from Crayford to Charing Cross calling at all stations including Albany Park via Lewisham which was introduced in February.
The new direct off-peak services to Charing Cross on the Bexleyheath line will also hopefully benefit passengers on the Sidcup line as it has been proved that many passengers who previously used the Bexleyheath line for Charing Cross services have transferred to the Sidcup line since the new timetable. This new travel pattern has contributed to the overcrowding of these services on the Sidcup line and it is therefore hoped that the reinstatement will help reduce overcrowding.
Abbey Wood Service
There will be a new service to Abbey Wood on the Sidcup Line in the May timetable which stops at the below stations before continuing to all stations to Cannon Street via Abbey Wood and Greenwich:
Lee: 07.09, Mottingham: 07.12, New Eltham: 07.15, Sidcup: 07.19, Albany Park: 07.21, Bexley: 07.24, Crayford: 07.28, Slade Green: 07.34
There are also a small number of Abbey Wood services leaving Sidcup during the day and more regular half hourly services on the Bexleyheath line.
Louie’s continued push for extra services
Whilst Louie welcomes these additional services, which follows extensive lobbying and reflects the results of Louie’s Southeastern survey that was completed by thousands of local residents, Louie continues to campaign for additional train services.
This includes more trains serving Albany Park Station, more direct Abbey Wood services particularly for the Elizabeth Line connection and local football matches, and more peak time trains to reduce overcrowding as more people return to office working.
Louie also continues to meet Network Rail to push for urgent improvements to their infrastructure, track and signalling which has been a significant cause of the disruption passengers have faced alongside union strikes.
Commenting, Louie said:
“I welcome the new services on the May timetable following extensive lobbying and I hope this delivers improvements in reliability and choice for local passengers. I would like to thank constituents for sharing their concerns and experiences with me on these services which was hugely important in securing these additional services.”
“I would also like to assure constituents that fighting to improve local rail services, particularly campaigning for additional trains serving Albany Park and Abbey Wood remains my priority and I will continue pushing Southeastern ahead of the bigger changes that rail firms make in December each year.”
Hopefully the pick-up in demand will continue as this data is crucial to the arguments I am making and why I keep telling everyone to keep using Albany Park Station.”