Hastings station in 2013, with Victorian-era signalling. Hastings trains are slow because of poor infrastructure, not because of Sevenoaks stops.
We think that MPs should be working together to sort out our rail service.
Yet Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings, told BBC Inside Out South East on 3 February that she wants the next rail franchise to include faster trains from Hastings to Charing Cross. This “would involve arranging for less stops, so I’ll have to combat other MPs on the way up to London”.
We asked for comments on the proposed timetable changes for the first phase of the rebuilding of the Southeastern side of London Bridge. Thanks to all who contributed. We have now submitted our initial comments to Southeastern:
- there are serious issues with the pattern of services in the morning peak, which means that commuters both from Sevenoaks and from Dunton Green would face big gaps in services to Charing Cross/Waterloo East and to London Bridge/Cannon Street
- there is inadequate provision for those needing to leave Sevenoaks before 0700 to get to the City – the Charing Cross trains many City commuters use will no longer stop at London Bridge.
- the services from Charing Cross in the later part in the evening have been reduced too much.
- there is still lots of information to be provided including times of last trains, weekend services, opening of Cannon Street Underground station on a Sunday and use of rail tickets on the Underground.
- there is clearly going to be a lot of “engineering work”, especially on Sundays. We would like to see a standard alternative service, maintaining a 15 minute interval, rather than ad hoc arrangements different every weekend.
We have asked for further discussions with Southeastern, so please making comments and suggestions on the proposals which we can pursue with Southeastern.
Trains to and from Charing Cross will not be able to stop at London Bridge during the first phase of the rebuilding of the Southeastern side of London Bridge – from January 2015 to August 2016. Southeastern are consulting on changes to the timetable, and other arrangements, during this period. This affects trains from and to Sevenoaks and Dunton Green. We want to hear your views.
Update January 2015: Final timetables have now been published and we have written a Survival Guide to the London Bridge Rebuilding which includes details. You can read it here.
SouthEastern will be holding one of their periodic “Meet the Managers” events on the Charing Cross concourse from 0800 to 1000 on Thursday 30 January. If you travel through Charing Cross, please take a few moments to tell those responsible for your train service what you think of it and how it could be improved.
Offpeak services from Sevenoaks to Charing Cross have been virtually halved. Southeastern have sacrificed the xx29 and xx59 stops at Sevenoaks on services from Hastings in order to catch up time. Some early peak hour services will run a few minutes earlier too.
A member of the Association has switched to Centaur Coaches for his commute from Sevenoaks to Canary Wharf. He’s found the service “fine” and has shared his experience with us.