Hayes & Coney Hall Ward Councillor, Thomas Turrell, has written to Southeastern Railways to challenge the operator about an apparent reduction in the number of carriages on its trains from Hayes to Charing Cross since the timetable change in December 2022.
A number of rail users have complained about services being more crowded since the December timetable changes. The timetable changes saw the popular direct Cannon Street services axed against the wishes of local people, Councillors and Member of Parliament Bob Stewart. The Councillors and MP had petitioned against this unwanted change.
Councillor Turrell has now written to Southeastern to ask why the number of carriages has been reduced and for confirmation that they will be increased to pre-December 2022 numbers. Councillor Turrell highlighted that at October's Public Transport Liaison Meeting, Southeastern had claimed the capacity on the railway would remain the same and not decrease.
Councillors have also joined Bob Stewart in calling for the restoration of the Cannon Street services on the Mid-Kent line, claiming that the timetable changes are not working. This follows chaos at London Bridge station on 25th January when a trespasser elsewhere on the line caused cancellations and delays across the London South-East rail network. With more commuters being forced to change at London Bridge as a result of the timetable changes, your elected representatives are calling for the restoration of the direct Hayes to Cannon Street service to prevent this from recurring.
“These timetable changes are making journeys more difficult. Overcrowding on the remaining services and the recent chaos at London Bridge are proof of this. It is time that Southeastern admit they have got this wrong and restore the direct Cannon Street services on the Mid-Kent line immediately. Almost 3,000 people signed our petition calling for these changes to be stopped before Christmas. We continue to collect signatures for their restoration, but local residents can be assured we are not giving up on getting these disastrous changes reversed.”