Warning of Greenwich, Deptford, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park disruption due to London Bridge work (From This Is Local London)
Report news now! Text pictures & video to 80360, starting message with WITNESS then leave a space
Warning of Greenwich, Deptford, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park disruption due to London Bridge work
THOUSANDS of Greenwich train travellers are facing years of disruption to their London connections - but many people still don't know what's coming, a group has warned.
Users of stations on the Greenwich line - Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park - will bear the brunt of disruption caused by London Bridge's redevelopment.
From 2015 to 2016, Charing Cross trains will not stop at London Bridge, while the same thing will happen to Cannon Street services from August 2016.
And, long term, there will be no direct trains to Waterloo East and Charing Cross at all.
Mike Sparham, who helped set up the Greenwich Line User Group over this issue, has warned that - despite Network Rail's claims about publicity and coverage of the issue in local media, including News Shopper - many people are blissfully unaware of the problems to come.
He said: "When we've put things out, there have been lots of people saying 'I don't know anything about this'.
"We've made the point to Southeastern and Network Rail that there's no point in handing out leaflets at London Bridge headlined Thameslink Programme.
"There needs to be publicity aimed specifically at our four stations."
The group is meeting with MPs, Network Rail and Southeastern to raise their concerns about publicity of the changes, extra travel costs and alternative routes.
They warn access to hospitals, the West End and even connecting train services to airports will all be affected.
Mr Sparham, a retired trade union official and regular commuter, said: "For the period while London Bridge is being redeveloped, our main concern is to ensure there's alternative routes made available at no extra cost.
"We understand the need to redevelop London Bridge but I think there's got to be recognition of the disruption for passengers who use the Greenwich line."
The disruption has been caused by the £6bn Thameslink project, which aims to decrease congestion at London Bridge and make it more accessible for the 50m people who use it annually.
But the 63-year-old, of Westcombe Park, said: "The general reaction is there's all this money going in the Thameslink programme and there's going to be no real benefit to us at all.
"We'll end up with a worse service rather than a better one."
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “The redevelopment of London Bridge station, as part of the £6bn Thameslink Programme, is one of the biggest engineering challenges taking place on the railway.
"It will help unlock additional capacity and provide up to 24 trains an hour through central London. The work is carefully planned to accommodate rebuilding the station, including every platform, and extensive track work to provide the best possible train service to passengers.
"We are working closely with the affected train operators and have undertaken a lot of work to advise passengers of the changes. This will continue as the work progresses so we reach as many affected passengers as possible.
"As part of providing extra services, the Greenwich line will be permanently diverted to Cannon Street from January 2015.
"This change, along with temporary service alterations, has widely advertised and there is more targeted communications planned along the route to further raise awareness.”
To find out more visit thameslinkprogramme.co.uk
To contact the rail users' group, which will hold a public meeting later this year, email email@example.com
From January 2015 to August 2016 Charing Cross trains will not stop at London Bridge.
Early morning Charing Cross trains will divert to Cannon Street.
From August 2016 until December 2017, Cannon Street services will no longer stop at London Bridge.
Long term, Greenwich line services will go to Cannon Street rather than Charing Cross.
Comments are closed on this article.