More transport issues

This just in from reader Ellie:

Some news about Denmark Hill train station. The Labour Party is distributing a leaflet which reveals that Network Rail are plannning to end South London Line direct services from London Bridge to London Victoria, passing through Denmark Hill!

All the details are at:

I haven’t had chance to read through this document yet, but will do today.

You can register your opposition to the plan by emailing Network Rail at: rusresponses@​networkrail.​co.​uk

Or write to them at:
National RUS Consultation Manager
Network Rail
8th Floor, 40 Melton Street
London, NW1 2EE

Now, I’ve just given the leaflet the most cursory glance (it’s 84 pages long), and the only direct reference I can find is this:

With the growing demand for capacity into  Victoria and London Bridge in the peaks,  trains need to run at maximum length  and capacity. The Victoria-London Bridge  shuttle operates as a 2‑car unit for most of  the day and as a 4‑car unit for some peak  services. These services are perceived to  be a poor use of capacity and alternatives  need to be explored.

Once I get a little spare time I’ll take a good read through and see what I can find. My wife takes the train in question to work every day and she says it’s crowded, so I can’t believe they’ll remove the service altogether.

Does anyone have a copy of the Labour Party’s leaflet? Has anyone heard more about this?

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

11 thoughts on “More transport issues”

  1. More on Denmark Hill. I am afraid I haven’t got the full facts. I pretty much paraphrased the Labour party leaflet in the first posting. After doing some skim reading of the 84 page Network Rail document. I found the following. Still doesn’t spell out thier intentions for Denmark Hill though:

    Southern have aspirations to relieve overcrowding on their Metro services, including those on the WLL. As there is presently insufficient capacity at Victoria, it may prove necessary to examine whether capacity could be generated by either terminating the most lightly loaded London Bridge–Victoria (via SLL) services at Battersea Park, or by diverting them to Clapham Junction (thereby opening up new journey opportunities). Southern also wish to be able to call at the new stations at Shepherds Bush and Imperial Wharf on the WLL

    and on p60

    Option 7 – Divert the SLL London Bridge– Victoria service to Clapham Junction. This option would free up paths and platform capacity used by Southern at London Victoria. It may also provide an opportunity to consider whether an increase could be justified in the frequency of South Eastern Trains’ service to Victoria from the Dartford area.’

  2. I read something in the Red Rose leaflet distributed by the labour party, from what I can make out there are proposing to either divert the london bridge train to clapham Junction or Stop at Battersea Park, meaning anyone wanting to go to victoria from denmark hill can either catch the fast service or change at clapham, or Battersea park.

    Whilst this will mean fewer services direct to Victoria from Denmark Hill, there will still be a direct service (the dartford train) and for those wanting Clapham high Street or Battersea park, there should still be a service to these.

    Well that’s how I understood the proposals anyway.

    I catch the london bridge/victoria train morning & evening and am always able to get a seat, it is rarely overcrowded.

  3. From a newbie here on the Camberwell Blog.

    I believe this is something to do with Ken’s bigger plan for the SLL linking up with the East London Line and diverting it at Wandworth to Clapham Jc and possibly Wimbledon using LUL stock.

  4. There is an article about this in this week’s Southwark News, on page 9. Councillor Veronica Ward is quoted as objecting to the proposal, and Labour councillors are said to be planning to petition the Secretary of State for Transport. The article also quotes Network Rail as saying it welcomes comments, which have to be in by 24 February.

  5. I was worried to hear this so fired off an email to the address Ellie gave — see the response below. Note that it says “…there are no suggestions to close stations, routes or
    services as this would go against the aim of the strategy.” Encouraging?

    Thank you for your recent response to the CL RUS Draft for consultation document.
    The Cross London Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) aims to find ways of increasing opportunities for passengers to use rail services on a very crowded network. It covers various routes around London, including parts
    of the South London Line between Battersea Park and South Bermondsey.
    In the next ten years, the population of London is forecast to grow by almost one million. This document focuses on how we can carry more passengers on London Routes.
    Therefore, there are no suggestions to close stations, routes or services as this would go against the aim of the strategy.
    We anticipate that the final CL RUS document will be published and submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation in Spring of 2006.
    Thank you for your contribution.
    Roland Anderson
    National RUS Consultation Manager

  6. If you get the loop line from Denmark Hill earlyish in the morning there are rarely any seats — I think I always end up standing.

    At the moment from Denmark Hill we have 4 trains an hour direct to Victoria. Cutting down to only 2 per hour is unacceptable. If you have to change at Battersea Park on the way home from Victoria to denmark Hill — you can miss the connection and then you have to wait 30 mins for the next. That is gong back to the dark ages of the 70s!
    We need more frequent trains not less!

  7. Maybe this service is being removed in anticipation of the East London Line Extension (phase 2) which is scheduled for 2010+ but it wouldn’t surprise me if TFL are considering bringing it forward or modyfying it and connecting (via Clapham Junction or Wimbledon) with the Silverlink North London Line (they take full charge of this next autumn 2007) which runs from Richmond to North Woolwich — that would almost create a complete Orbital service which passes through Denmark Hill!!!

  8. I’ve written to Valerie Shawcross AM about this and got a very prompt response back from her researcher saying-

    “Thank you for emailing Val about the proposed changes to the South London Line. Val shares your concerns about the proposals and has also written to object to the plans and to call for the consultation period to be extended. Please see her letter attached. For your information it is not TfL who run the railways it is individual Train Operating Companies and the track is owned/ amanged by Network Rail. As the consultation on the South London Line is being handled by Network Rail this is who Val has written to as opposed to TfL. I hope this is helpful.

    Lucy Jones
    Personal Assistant to Valerie Shawcross
    London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark”
    You can write to her using easily.

    My FOI request seems to have resulted in this answer -

    “I would like to clarify that we have been asked by the Dept for Transport to undertake Route Studies to provide options to meet future growth and connectivity. We are not empowered to modify/close routes stations. We have undertaken extensive consultation with Local Authorities, Rail User groups and MPs in developing our study. You will find the list of consultees on page 82 of the document. There are a number of workstreams to undertake before we issue on behalf of the rail industry the final list of options to be submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation planned for the end of May 2006. The document will be published on our website.”

  9. Have just looked at the document properly for the first time and have to say I think the Labour leaflet makes this sound a bit more drastic than it really is. The strategy contains lots of options and already confirms that there is not a good business case for diverting the London Bridge — Victoria service (p.68 — Assessment of Option 7). And in any case it suggests that this could be offset by increasing the Dartford — Victoria trains, which would be good news for Denmark Hill / Victoria passengers. But the main point is that none of these are proposals that are about to happen; they’re scenarios that need to be looked at in more detail, and a report with a final list of OPTIONS will go to the Rail Regulators later this year. Report also recognises that the two-car trains on the L. Bridge — Victoria loop are not an efficient use of the route, a fact with which peak users of the train will strongly agree (answer: make them longer?).

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