Southeastern timetable change draws protest to Blackheath railway station – South London News

Angry commuters stood outside Blackheath railway station on Saturday to protest against Southeastern’s proposed timetable changes.

The changes will mean passengers will not be able to get a direct service from Blackheath to London Charing Cross during off-peak hours. 

Travellers will need to change at London Bridge. Many peak-time trains travelling to London Charing Cross will also be cut.

In response, Lewisham East MP Janet Daby and Blackheath councillors Juliet Campbell, Amanda de Ryk and Luke Warner started a petition for residents to sign. 

It will be presented to Southeastern before the timetable comes into effect on December 11.

There has been widespread anger at Southeastern’s decision not to consult on these changes.

Since the Covid pandemic train operators have been given an exemption from the Department for Transport to consult on their timetable alterations.

On Saturday the campaigners came together to protest “Save Our Trains” outside Blackheath railway station.

Commenting on the “Save Our Trains” campaign, Ms Daby said: “I am receiving multiple emails every day from anxious residents over this new timetable.

“These concerns range from not being able to get to work on time to older people’s ability to change trains at London Bridge and the safety of vulnerable people and girls travelling home at night.

“For instance, one local resident has told me that she recently accepted a job commuting into west London for two days a week. Yet these timetable changes will greatly restrict her ability to get to work on time.

“It is entirely unacceptable that these drastic changes have been made without any form of consultation. The Government should also accept blame for lifting the obligation for train companies to consult.

“This is not right as local people deserve more respect than this. This is why I called for this protest today.”

A spokesman for Southeastern said:“On December 11 we’re introducing a new timetable across our network to improve punctuality and reliability.

“From Blackheath, there will still be direct trains from Blackheath to Cannon Street, Charing Cross and Victoria – and in the other direction – at peak times, avoiding the need to change.

“The changes mean that some additional customers will now change trains at Lewisham, so a revised one-way route for platform 1 will operate in the morning peak to improve customer flow through the station, increasing the safety of our customers.”

Pictured top: Protesters outside Blackheath railway station (Picture: MP Janet Daby’s office)

Recommended For You