Southeastern have still not yet reinstated the Blackfriars service from Beckenham Junction in their new timetable from 12 September. Beckenham risks losing this service. Southeastern recently advised told our Association…
“On the Beckenham Junction to Victoria route we’re now running the same level of service as before the pandemic – with four trains per hour at peak times. This is complemented by four Thameslink trains per hour between Tulse Hill and Blackfriars, which provides an interchange opportunity at Herne Hill for passengers on the Beckenham Junction route. Passenger demand on this route is still significantly reduced compared to pre-pandemic, and the most recent data shows that passenger numbers are only at 37% of the levels we were regularly seeing in early 2020. As we’re currently operating 67% of the pre-pandemic service, there is still available capacity on these trains – but we appreciate that the direct peak-time journey opportunity between Beckenham Junction and Blackfriars is not currently available.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, we’re keeping passenger numbers under close review and carefully balancing decisions on where to increase capacity in partnership with the Department for Transport. This reflects the significant financial support the government has provided to ensure the railways keep running through the pandemic – up to £800 million per month across the country. Prior to the pandemic our data showed that demand for peak time Victoria services was around three times larger than for Blackfriars services, and that pattern is similar today – albeit with only around a third of the passengers. As passenger numbers continue to increase in the coming months, we will carefully monitor levels of demand and consider whether it would be appropriate to reintroduce some direct services between Beckenham Junction and Blackfriars.”
Unless local people fight for this service we fear it will be lost. Southeastern begrudgingly took it over from Thameslink in 2014 after our campaign, and the pandemic creates the opportunity for them to terminate it now.
Sign the petition at the link below:
Write to Southeastern at:
Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Floor 2, 4 More London Riverside
London SE1 2AU
We have written to our MP Bob Stewart about our campaign and he has written to Southeaster in support of retaining it.