Dear Bromley Council,
The announcement of the new Thameslink and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise has brought unhappy news to Beckenham and Penge residents. The new network map shows that services from Beckenham Junction to St Pancras and beyond will not run for the whole term of the franchise. Those who use and rely on these services will incur disruption to their journey.
During the summer of 2012 the rail franchise consulted on which services from South London (Sutton, Wimbledon, Ashford (via Maidstone East), Rochester, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Beckenham Junction and Kent House) should proceed through the Thameslink core to St Pancras and beyond. Network Rail recommended that rail services from Wimbledon Loop should terminate at Blackfriars and not go through the core. Despite the recommendation by Network Rail, Wimbledon trains will go through the core at the expense of those from Beckenham Junction, Kent House and Penge. West London were successful in lobbying to keep their services, Bromley residents lost out.
We want Bromley Council to fight to save our rail service. So far over 270 local residents have signed a petition to ‘Save train services from Beckenham Junction/Kent House/Penge East to St Pancras and beyond’. People plan their lives around direct commuter services, the proposed change will cause significant disruption to commuters and a vital transport link in the borough will be lost. Further, it is not certain the service from Beckenham Junction/Kent House/Penge to Blackfriars is safe. In 2018 the service will transfer from Thameslink to South Eastern, when the South Eastern franchise is reviewed in 2015/16 services from Beckenham Junction, Kent House and Penge may face further reduction.
Question for the Environment Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee meeting Tuesday 1 July 2014:
What action is Bromley Council going to take to secure the future of Thameslink services from Beckenham Junction, Kent House, Penge to St Pancras and beyond, to Blackfriars from 2018, and to lobby for improved/additional commuter rail links from Beckenham Junction onwards?
Members can access the petition at: www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-train-service-from-beckenham-junction-to-st. We encourage members to read the comments, this is an important issue for local people and one we want action on.
Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association
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We would also like to see CCARA campaigning, asking Council questions to restore the through service to the enhanced Clapham Junction orbital rail rub and oppose the Tram extension to Bromley which will damage Beckenham trade and property amenity.