This afternoon I met with Southern Rail at Carshalton Beeches Station to discuss the ongoing issues with train services, my rail improvement campaign, and the need for services to be returned to pre-pandemic levels.
I am delighted that, after months of pushing Southern Rail, there will be an increase in rail services to/from Central London. This follows months of disruption as a result of major staff absences due to Omicron and will come into force from Monday 28th February (please not that this change only relates to weekday services).
This means there will be more direct services to London Victoria and London Bridge, and 12,000 more seats during peak times. Southern trains which service our local stations will return to similar levels to Autumn 2021, with more direct services to London Victoria being reintroduced and earlier starts and later finishes.
I've taken part in several 'station drops' of my Rail Improvement petition over the past few weeks and I've been shocked at the number of residents who've had to significantly change their morning routine to get into work. As a commuter myself, these disruptions have been incredibly frustrating and have often resulted in having to travel to a different rail station to my normal one due to cancelled services.
From Monday 28th February:
- London Blackfriars to Sutton: Four trains per hour will continue to run between Sutton and London Blackfriars (via Tulse Hill) calling at Hackbridge and Sutton
- Horsham via Dorking/Epsom via Hackbridge: This route will now run to London Victoria instead of the diverted London Bridge route
- Sutton/ Epsom Downs via West Croydon and Streatham Common: This route will return to London Victoria, rather than terminating at Balham.
- Epsom to London Bridge via Carshalton Beeches: Fast services between Epsom and London Bridge calling at Carshalton Beeches and Wallington will run every half-hour. Trains from Epsom to London Bridge will depart at 05:45, 07:16, 08:15, then every 30 mins until 22:45.
Residents should ensure they check journey planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk before making their trip.
I will continue to push Southern for further increases to train services, especially at peak times, however if you would like to raise your specific concerns with me on this issue, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.