|Posted on Tuesday, 05 September, 2006 - 11:29 pm: |
So what do you all think about announcement today that the East London line will link up with the Northern line and be known as the Overground?
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 07:29 am: |
Isn't ' cut and shut' more appropriate?
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 07:31 am: |
Sorry, I meant ' cut and cover'- like the District line. Or did I? Freudian slip?
Isn't this going to get awfully confused with normal 'national rail' overland services.?
Any link with the Northern line doesn't sound promising...
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:01 am: |
Branding these lines as 'London Overground' creates a seperation in the minds on Londoners and tourists between the two systems. I want the East London Line to stay part of the 'London Underground' system - a brand known across the world.
There are many other parts of the London Underground that currently run above ground for part of their length and I think we should oppose the East London Line getting inferior and confusing branding compared to the rest of the London Underground system.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:02 am: |
It's not the Northern Line as the black line on the tube map but the North London Line which TFL have taken over.
I counted 30 stations to Richmond if you took the proposed orbital route north.
Clearly from the announcement Ken Livingstone wants control of all overground railways serving the London area?
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:09 am: |
I see in today's South London Press the Forest Hill Society is featured in relation to Forest Hill station and other matters...first meeting 7.30pm Monday September 25 at the Friends'Meeting House, 34 Sunderland Road.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:12 am: |
I think the new London Underground map is due to be released today. I saw a copy of it on Monday. Surprisingly it has several lines in the south-east.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:25 am: |
Whether 'Overground' works in marketing terms depends on the success of the marketing strategy. I imagine the London Mayor's thinking is that we have much underused surface railway in London. People are deterred from using it by obscure timetabling, low frequency, and unwelcoming stations. Changing these approaches and giving some of this network a separate name, with visual presentation within the overall TfL look (the logo being the same as the underground logo with the word 'overground' across the bar) is the most effective strategy to raise its profile.
The other point to make is that while some services are far from satisfactory, the service on many parts of the suburban surface network is already comparable to much of the tube network and in some ways better. Slightly different branding makes it easier to promote these virtues - and provides an incentive for improvement on surface lines that aren't up to scratch.
If the plan works, it not only raised the profile of the rail lines to be transferred, but also gives the new line a sense of being new and different. So I don't think we are being fobbed off.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:27 am: |
BBC London website has an item onthe 'Overground'.
There is also a map of the proposed 2010 layout as a pdf file.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:39 am: |
2 thoughts - one one hand FH will get more recognition if it is included on the 'tube' map, which seems to be the current proposal. On the other, the map only shows LU controlled lines. All the other overground lines that are national rail controlled (old network southeast) are not on the map. Ken should be lobbied to include these (so the Clapham Junction and London Br services as far as we are concerned) as it will make FH look almost ok as far as transport is concerned. On some old map, these lines are included as a thin black line under some general term as 'other network's services'. If this map is going to be re-drawn to include the expanded ELL, then it could be a great opportunity for us!
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 10:20 am: |
The map that I saw had a lot more lines in it further out in south-east london.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 01:50 pm: |
You sure it wasn't Ken's (the Urban Fox) secret plans to invade Surrey & Kent?
I suppose the link coulkd be useful if you are an Arsenal fan or wish to visit Hampstead Heath?
Regarding the East London Line, did someone say the trains will divide and re-connect at Surrey Quays?
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 06:14 pm: |
I think that the news that we are to be part of "London Overground" instead of LU is devastatingly bad news for people in this area. How a transport system is perceived is vitally important for inward investment and to bring new residents into the area - the very people we need to revitalise this area. When people ask you "Is Forest Hill on the Tube" your answer is "No, but it's on London Overground". Doesn't quite have the same ring does it?
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 06:48 pm: |
Nasaroc, my initial instinct was the same as yours: the Overground seems like the Underground's poorer cousin.
But if you read the Transport for London site you'll see that when people ask "Is Forest Hill on the Tube", the answer would be a categorical yes.
The Tube map by 2010 would include both Underground and Overground. Ultimately, the word Tube has become synonymous with the Underground, but, soon that will no longer be the case.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:09 pm: |
But Rob - Every DLR station is on the Tube map but if you ask someone "Is Lewisham on the Tube, what do they answer? No - it's on the DLR". There is instant recognition that the DLR is a different service. So it will be with London Overground. And this isn't just a matter of branding. LU has huge reinvestment budgets and very tight health and safety regulations. If LU took over FH station we'd find the place would quickly be improved with better staffing and facilities. Instead of being part of LU which we were promised by politicians from the start we've got the cut-price airline version. It's all being done to make it more attractive to a PFI investor.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:35 pm: |
Nasaroc - good point, but the bottom line is that the station will be on the Tube map - and therefore "the Tube" - which it isn't now. It puts Forest Hill on the London map, which automatically makes it more attractive to investors. And it will also connect directly to north London following the new piece of track at Dalston, which has significant advantages.
The problem of perception is arguably calling it the East London Railway, rather than Line. That point may be worth arguing and one that TfL may concede.
As I understand it, TfL are atttempting to take control of the East London stations, including Honor Oak and Forest Hill, which would hopefully bring the much-needed improvements that you rightly mention.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 09:45 pm: |
The DLR is not branded in the same way as the underground, so no one would think Lewisham was on the tube.
You have never been promised by any politician that the Forest Hill line would become part of London Underground. The deal is that it is taken over by Transport for London which runs the underground and buses and looks after the Metropolitan roads in London. Given that Transport for London is also responsible for London Underground, why would you expect different standards to apply?
I do not understand your argument that the branding as 'overground' rather than 'underground' supports your thesis. If I were taking over a suburban rail service with the intention of running it as second best to the tube, the last thing I would do would be to design a logo reminiscent of the London Transport and tube logos. I would make the corporate design as different as possible.
Your assumption that this is part of some cunning nefarious plan to attract PFI investors doesn't stack up either. A great deal of both the underground and national rail are already being run on a PFI basis. What name you give the operation is 101% irrelevant to this decision.
The basic problem I have with your thesis is its negativism. When I came to Forest Hill in the 1970s there were two off-peak trains per hour from Forest Hill station in each direction (and cancellations happened in those days). There are now six per hour, making it a useable service. Whatever it is called, the new through lines will add a great deal more. Rather than bewailing the devastatingly sad fact that Forest Hill is not Balham or Highgate, we should be emphasising the objective benefits we will derive from the new line - whatever it is called.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 10:01 pm: |
Having looked at the 2010 '' tube'' map on the BBC website, I don't see the issue with what we call it - we're on it- at last- thats what matters, doesn't it?
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 10:13 pm: |
Yes ROZ - here, here!!
I know what Dave Whiting means though - I've seen this negativism in loads of posts to this website and I find it quite sad. Forest Hill is already showing signs of inward investment and I feel confident that this new line WILL attract more people to come to the area as it will give us a direct link into the Tube network with interchanges on the Jubilee line, DLR, Hammersmith & City line, District line and Victoria line.
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 September, 2006 - 10:28 pm: |
And because the project is not just about the East London Line, but will create an orbital link incorporating the North London Line (taking in the Silverlink lines from Clapham Junction through Olympia and Willesden Junction, with extra stations along the way) it will give citizens in Forest Hill much easier access to employment and leisure in West London.
I think that 'Yippeee!!!' amounts to a balanced and reasonable response to this.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 07:34 am: |
I'm as excited as anyone else about the arrival of the East London Line. Of course it opens up huge potential for greatly improved travel from Forest Hill - although Dave, I don't think I'll be taking up your invitation to travel to west London via the Silverlink Lines. Clearly, you've got a great deal more time on your hands now you are not a councillor! What really sticks in my craw is the so-called "rebranding" of the East London Line. Is the "East London Railway" and "London Overground" really the best that TFL can come up with? Both reek of the mid 20th century rather than the 21st. What's wrong with the East London Line? Or the East London link? or the Metro? Or even the Olympic Line, for gawds sake. The current rebranding sends out completely the wrong signals. Can't we get our friend Len Duvall to change this?
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 08:35 am: |
I used the Victoria train to Clapham Junction and then Silverlink route this week for a business meeting in Kensal Rise precisely because I seem to have less time on my hands since I ceased to be a councillor. It took less than an hour door to door (though this involves getting from one side of Clapham Junction to the other in less than two minutes). When the enhanced service comes into operation with extra trains and more stations including Shepherds Bush, I suspect many people in Forest Hill will use it.
I think we must agree to differ on the branding. I think it's rather good, and links the new services to the brand image of the tube while still emphasising that this is something new and different.
The argument against 'East London Railway' is that this is part of a larger project involving the revitalisation of an important rail route around London and by promoting the overground concept for the whole thing it should be possible to assemble more marketing resources than by doing it piecemeal.
It's also important to remember that the surface railways in London are not without their strengths. There are fewer stations, so they are faster (Croydon to London by train, 10 minutes; Uxbridge to London by tube, 40 minutes). Also, they provide more orbital routes (the tube is almost entirely a radial service). With the development of satellite centres such as Docklands, Croydon, West London and Lewisham, this cross-London potential is important, and an essential part of the Overground strategy.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 08:48 am: |
Orbital! Yes, on one hand damn fine early dance music, on the other a long standing project to give an outer circle line.
David Whiting - many people are not negative as just FH being on the main 'tube' map is a great step forward. My concern is that the links to Clapham Junction and Victoria are not on the proposed map. It is more about maximising the opportunities ahead. And Balham is actually quite rough I've found, far more trouble than we get in our fair corner.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 09:26 am: |
The tube map shown on the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/05_09_0 6_tubemap.pdf
does not conform to tube standards. On all other lines (including DLR) it is clear where lines start and finish, for example you can get a train from Upminster to Ealing Broadway. This map suggests that in a similar way it would be possible to get a train from West Croydon to Richmond. I believe Highbury should be shown as an interchange station. Really the two/three lines should be shown as different colour (as they are a present). Branding the whole lot as 'overground' and making it one colour does not fit in the tube map. I am sure Harry Beck would not approve.
The orbital route is a good idea, but I am surprised that the Crystal Palace to Clapham/Victoria line is not used as well as the route via Peckham. Perhaps in the future.
It is a shame that a number of Network Rail links are not also shown on the map. If you looked at this map you might not be aware how easy it is to travel from New Cross to Lewisham or Greenwich, or from both the New Cross stations to London Bridge. There is a key for national rail lines and it looks like there are plans to add some of these in at a later stage, so I hope that TfL is open to such suggestions.
I do not want to be negative about the tube coming to Forest Hill, it is clearly the most important thing that has happened to the tube in a long time ;-) But I don't think we need to simply be grateful for what we are about to receive. We are entitled to ask questions, discuss and ask why it cannot be even better.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 10:30 am: |
We can't have the line branded "Underground" as... it won't be part of the Underground. The existing East London Line is to be transferred to the rail network and will be the responsibility of London Rail not LU (although both are part of TfL). The trains (although not yet procured) will be more of the railway type than the Tube type. See posts passim.
David W's remarks about the branding could be slightly misleading as TfL now uses the roundel in various colour schemes for all its constituent parts: Rail, Buses, River, Streets etc etc.
"Overground" seems quite appropriate to me. The fact that it is a brand new concept will attract just as much attention as an extended Tube I think.
I do agree there is a slight problem with image and perception, though, and can understand why people may feel disappointed when they have thought for years "we are getting the Tube" and know from personal experience that the rail system is vastly inferior in most respects.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 10:49 am: |
We are on the map at last.
The map I saw is not the one on the BBC website.
It also included a( rail?) line from Croydon to New Cross Gate and further in (not stopping at Forest Hill).
I wish I had kept it. But I thought it was going to be published soon.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 11:37 am: |
Hilltopgeneral is right that my comments on the TfL logo could be slightly misleading. If you look at the proposed 'overground' logo, you will see that it has exactly the same colours as the LU logo and is immediately recognisably all but the same. The DLR logo is in a different set of colours and looks very different. That was the distinction I had in mind.
I think Michael is right to raise the issue of timetabling and clarity of railway maps and timetables. The obscure timetabling and the difficulty of working out how to get from A to B are major factors in the under-use of what is by no means always a bad service.
A good start would be to ensure that operating companies always present their services in the context of the overall network. You wouldn't know from local information available at Forest Hill that other train operators stop at Gypsy Hill, for example, and provide connections to places like Herne Hill and Peckham.
Further, a TfL commission on rational timetabling would be a good idea. Too much of the timetable seems to reflect history; It is too complex; there are strange routes which trains only take twice a day (the Clapham Junction to Olympia line used to be like that until it was decided not to ditch it). Frankly we need timetabling for normal users not the rail enthusiast.
I think Michael is definitely right that these are issues the new Forest Hill Society should get its head around.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 12:00 pm: |
On the TFL website under TUBE is East London and the closure of Shoreditch station due to the exstension of the East London Line.
Which may explain some of the confusion?
Is it possible the Victoria/London Bridge loop could disappear when the new service begins?
Would it make sense to close the New Cross branch line or are there plans to extend the East London Line through to Lewisham?
Sherwood: Could the map you saw be a version of the map I think covers the Zone 3 area that has both tube and train lines shown.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 12:18 pm: |
It could be. It included lines well outside Forest Hill. I seem to remember Beckenham being on it.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 01:13 pm: |
This still is not the map I saw. but here is a link with useful information:
and a promise from Ken.
"The mayor said the transfer of responsibilities would raise the standards of service up to the levels of the Tube and the buses."
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 01:22 pm: |
Having read the TfL press release (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/press-relea ses/press-releases-content.asp?prID=886):
1. the line will be called ‘East London Railway’ (ELR?). Does that mean we’ll be living in east London, not south-east London?!
2. the ‘Overground’ roundel is orange, not red like the ‘Underground’ one, so they should be easy to distinguish (although maybe not on a PC monitor!). There are some images in the Image Gallery (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/image-galle ry/ ) of the roundel, train interiors and exteriors, and stations. Orange is the ‘brand colour’ for the Overground so expect to see lots of it on signage etc. The images have been mocked up with examples from the north London services but I assume it will be the same for the East London Railway.
And before people get overly excited at the prospect of rebranding, let’s remember that only SOME of the services will be East London Railway and we’ll still have traditional rail services too.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 02:11 pm: |
I attended a meeting in Lewisham last April where a person from TFL only seeemd to want to talk about train services and railway stations, rather than buses, DLR or the tube.
The following may be relevant?
It was proposed in March 2004 the outline proposals for a London Regional Rail Authority which could see the Mayor take control of all suburban commuter rail services in London.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 September, 2006 - 05:33 pm: |
Don't know if counts as a promise from a politician but Cllr. John Paschaud, Perry Vale wrote today....
"An important and relatively short-term improvement for Perry Vale will be the arrival of TfL-operated tube train services at Forest Hill station by 2010."
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 03:27 am: |
A number of people have made reference to an alternate future tube map including places such as Beckenham. It may be this one: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/press-rele ases/putting-transport-onthemap.pdf It was issued a while back and showed all services that have been given some form of go-ahead and would potentially be in service by 2016. It includes (I think) a tram service from SE London through to North London. Not sure how current it is today, but still makes for interesting reading.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 09:52 am: |
Talking about promises by politicians, take a look at the Forest Hill Labour Party site:
Directly below a photograph of Dave Whiting is the following:
... "the tube is coming to Forest Hill as part of the East London Line" ...
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 10:06 am: |
Like a hanky to wipe that egg off your boat Dave?
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 11:33 am: |
Not really. References to 'the tube' are a perfectly reasonable colloquial shorthand. The 'tube' doesn't have any institutional existence. The term is used to cover both the narrow gauge deep tunnel lines and the older surface and cut and cover lines which don't run through tubes.
The formal institutional position is the handover to TfL which is happening and which will ensure integration with the rest of the TfL network, and the same standards as apply to London Underground operations. In that sense, the statement 'the tube is coming to Forest Hill' is reasonable, though it has obviously caused a lot of confusion.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 11:51 am: |
"the tube is coming to Forest Hill" is absolutely correct. Don't confuse Underground with Tube. They aren't the same thing, although the Underground has become synonymous with Tube.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 12:06 pm: |
Rubbish. "The Underground" is synonymous with "the Tube", because the Tube is simply the informal nickname of the London Underground system. It matters not whether the trains run through a circular bored tunnel deep below the earth, in a cut and cover box, or in the glorious open air. There is no distinction.
On the other hand, a distinction is made between different transport systems. The DLR, Croydon tramlink, North London Line, Thameslink et al are not Tube nor Underground and no-one would ever refer to them as such. If however we were to follow your argument then some or all of these would be described as "Tube" although not part of the Underground. There are also fundamental technical differences between light and heavy rail and it is quite absurd to suggest that "the Tube is coming to Forest Hill" when what is happening is that an existing Tube line is being transferred to the national rail system, with rail frequencies, new railway carriages, under the auspices of London RAIL and not London UNDERGROUND.
Semantics from Rob and Politics (my caps) from Dave cannot mask the truth!
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 12:15 pm: |
Also, the index tab on the TfL website simply says "Tube". And guess the title of the page it takes you to - "London Underground [smaller type] The Tube". Rail has its own tab.
So please don't try to argue that the two are not synonymous.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 12:43 pm: |
What is being done - and I think it is an excellent strategy - is to subsume some under-used surface rail into the TfL system, and bring it up to tube standards.
If you are desperate to advance the 'nothing good has ever happened to Forest Hill, and nothing ever will' thesis, then it is worth nit-picking about the precise meaning of the word 'tube' - incidentally, something which, it being a colloquialism, it doesn't possess.
If you think that the best news Forest Hill has had for years is that Tfl will be adding (to an already decent rail service) additional services run to the same standards as London Underground, then you might think that this concern about the use of the word 'tube' is a relatively trivial distraction.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 01:09 pm: |
Suggest you go back and read my earlier post. I am very positive about it, but I think it's entirely appropriate to pick you up on the lazy and inaccurate statement that "we are getting the Tube".
As I said, there is however the risk of more general disappointment and disquiet, because thr rail system has always been perceived as inferior to the Underground system in certain respects (although in some ways I personally prefer it).
It will take a good service on the new "Overground" to dispel this impression and the idea that we are being fobbed off with something second rate again, after many years of waiting.
You say that the new service will be to the same standard as the Underground, but the trains will not be running to what most would consider Underground frequency.
It will not fall under London Underground's infamous Chief Engineer's Directorate so who will enforce Underground standards? If it's rail people, forget it.
It is far from certain that LU Station Planning Standards and Guidelines will apply.
Do you actually know that compliance with LU standards is in the contract for the construction and for the operating franchise or are you just parrotting the party line? Or worse still, your own assumptions?
If we are to have an Underground-standard service then how come no funding has been allocated for works to the station? LU wouldn't touch Forest Hill station with a ***** stick.
Sounds like you are talking out the wrong end mate. I do hope I'm wrong but the evidence to the contrary is not encouraging.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 01:12 pm: |
So it's actually linking with the North London line? I misheard the radio bulletin.
Well I hope they will improve the security of that line overall as it's not a service I've ever felt comfortable using after dark.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 03:13 pm: |
That is the map I saw.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 03:25 pm: |
That's right Dave, throw out smears that anyone whose opposed to the new set up is either a "nitpicker" or someone who revels in bad news about FH. What sort of level of arguement is that?
I am wholly enthusiastic about the new line and can't wait until it opens. But I want the standards of staffing and health and safety currently enjoyed by LU to be applied to FH. I'm tired of walking over a graffited footbridge and down the badly lit urinal that passes for a staircase off platform 2. What makes things worse is that you were a politician here for 20 years and you did absolutely nothing about this.
I also believe that branding the new line as "London Overground" misses a huge opportunity to make this a new dynamic transport link. "Overground" smacks of 1950's style travel and the delays and poor standards associated with the suburban railway system.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 04:35 pm: |
I keep thinking of wombles.
"Underground, overground, wombling free..."
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 04:44 pm: |
Me too, but glad you mentioned it first.
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 05:19 pm: |
I don’t understand why some people on the Forum have expressed ‘disappointment’ that the East London Line extension is being branded the “Overground” and not the tube.
The new service will have new underground style carriages, trains every 8 minutes, safer fully staffed stations, full ‘Oyster’ ticketing, tube fares and equality with tube lines on the underground map.
The new line will merge with the North London Line to give access to a whole new range of stations from Stratford, Highbury and Islington and Richmond. Transport for London will award the ‘concession’ next year and will dictate the level of service and fares.
This isn’t just an extension to the underground, it’s a whole new approach to rail travel in London that will cover 20 of London’s 32 boroughs and eventually provide an orbital link around London through Clapham Junction.
I hope members of the Forum will forgive me for being just a little bit pleased at what I and my colleagues have been able to get from the Mayor and Transport for London. However I recognise that there is still more to do. Together with Jim Dowd MP, I am lobbying the Department for Transport to hand over the responsibility of all the stations served by the extended East London Line between New Cross Gate & Crystal Palace/West Croydon to Transport for London. I don’t just want the stations ‘freshened-up’ with branding, new paint and a coffee shop, I want us to take the opportunity to completely re-build some of the more decrepit stations to match the new train service we will be getting.
That’s why we’re launching a petition to send to the Department of Transport asking for ownership of the stations to be transferred to TfL.
For a copy of the petition e-mail email@example.com
Len Duvall AM
Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham
|Posted on Friday, 08 September, 2006 - 11:49 pm: |
Strangely, I thought forum readers would be pleased at the news.
|Posted on Sunday, 10 September, 2006 - 01:50 pm: |
Many thanks to Len for his last posting, which clears up lots of misconceptions about the transport service we expect to receive from FH station, which gives us all a lot of good news. Actually, quite a lot of the "underground" travels overground when you get to the end of the lines, and for many bits in between (including the current East London line, and this has had no detrimental effect on the service.Thanks again, Len.
|Posted on Sunday, 10 September, 2006 - 04:17 pm: |
Am I the only person in SE23 who isn't interested about this? Do I need to regularly go to East London (certainly not to the Boleyn Ground although on recent evidence maybe Leyton or Dagenham?). Better Thameslink to Kings Cross to avoid the underground and more through trains to Charing Cross - yes. Overall the overground has improved over the years so that is good news. But more Yupees who work in Docklands so our house prices go up? Non merci. A campaign for the reinstatement of the Crystal Palace line and a few of the old stations such as Bricklayers arms and Honor Oak, that would be good, but think I have exhausted that one. Ohh and trolley buses as well.
|Posted on Sunday, 10 September, 2006 - 06:33 pm: |
|Posted on Sunday, 10 September, 2006 - 07:39 pm: |
Will transferring ownership of the stations to TfL definitely mean they will rebuild Forest Hill station, as you are recommending? Is this included in the petition or is Lewisham West Labour Party only asking for the transfer of ownership? I expect the transfer of ownership to TfL will help with investment but it is worth understanding what we will get.
I agree that it is important that 'overground' is not just a rebranding exercise and does bring South London rail transport and stations to the level of 'underground' services. It still seems strange that Crystal Palace to Victoria (via Clapham Junction) has not been included in the 'overground' network.
So there is plenty more to do, to get the best out of the proposals. Well done for what has already been achieved and I am glad than you are continuing to work on these issues.
|Posted on Sunday, 10 September, 2006 - 09:42 pm: |
I just hope that the Dutch get the contract- travel on NS and you see a service vastly superior to any of those here run by the cowboys who got the contracts post-privatisation.
|Posted on Monday, 11 September, 2006 - 09:40 am: |
Perhaps we could even aspire to the lofty levels of service achieved by Connex under its previous French ownership?
|Posted on Monday, 11 September, 2006 - 11:08 am: |
Connex were a real disappointment given the excellent French transport system over there- the current lot( who are they?) seem a lot better, or maybe its just I have lower expectations these days. I did like the blue uniforms though. If Dutch, I suppose we'll all need sunglasses ie bright orange......
|Posted on Monday, 11 September, 2006 - 12:49 pm: |
Michael - I've asked Southern face-to-face and in writing to clarify whether the London Bridge to Victoria loop will be discontinued when the ELLX opens (with four trains per hour to Crystal Palace the idea may be cancel the loop entirely and to make all passengers change at CP). I've had no reply to this question but this may explain why the loop isn't part of the new "overground" network and doesn't appear on the map. Maybe the loop is going to disappear.
Now that we've discovered that the ELLX isn't part of LU you have now to ask questions about timing of trains. For example, one huge advantage of having "tube" trains on the ELLX is that tube trains run later into the night than suburban trains. As a tube network you could get back to Forest Hill (8 trains per hour) up to and beyond 1am. Now that the ELLX is part of "London Overground" (oh it hurts me just to write this silly name!) will we be getting late night "tube" timetables or late night suburban rail timetables? The answer to questions like this will make a huge difference to people in FH.
I'm not being nitpicking! The answer to questions such as these are very important.
|Posted on Monday, 11 September, 2006 - 01:37 pm: |
The question arises, why the different name if it is to be "just the same" or "just as good as" the Tube.
With the Tube / Underground, it is a recognised name; a brand. We know what it means. The "Overground" brand is new (although we thought that's what we had already) and unknown, and because it is not the Underground to which we have long aspired and until relatively recently thought we were getting, there will inevitably be suspicions that it represents something different and something inferior.
There needs to be a big communications drive to assure us we are not getting some sort of "no frills" version, without decent stations and without Underground-frequency services.
One can't help but wonder if the Overground is indeed supposed to represent some sort of halfway house and in particular avoid the need to bring stations up to Underground standard, with all the attendant cost. There has been no satisfactory response to our concerns on this. Make no mistake, the line couldn't be transferred to the Underground without extensive works to the stations - it doesn't seem unduly paranoid or cynical to wonder if this was a factor.
I would reiterate my support for Len and for this project but someone somewhere has some explaining to do. Rather than mindless positivism from Lewisham politburo members past and present, can we look a bit closer into the real substance of this rather than the spin.
|Posted on Monday, 11 September, 2006 - 02:40 pm: |
I don't believe anyone is being negative re the East London Railway, just people wanting the best possible service.
Ensuring through discussion the proposed plans are feasible should be encouraged. Because people have a different opinion it doesn't mean they are being negative.
I'm sure Len would agree some of the improvements he has described are only likely to happen if the Mayor of London takes over the stations on the new service. It is fair for people to point out what is claimed may not be guaranteed do to the current set-up.
Earlier this year there seemed to be an organised campaign that appeared to set out to prove how unsafe railway stations are for passengers. The Mayor of Lewisham joined in by conducting his own survey. In the accompanying report it stated,
"There remains uncertainty about the intentions of the new franchisee for overground services locally regarding staffing."
In a letter to the train companies the Mayor of Lewisham asked the train companies to work with him, he wrote, "…alone we (the council) can only add to everyone's anxiety."
So it's not only members of this forum who have concerns.
Was the push about safety part of Ken Livingstone's debate with government as to the best way to integrate public transport in London.
Maybe Len could tell us if Ken has been given a nod and a wink, either officially or via the party, he will be given control of the London rail services and stations?
Also in the report it refers to the new service as an extension of the East London Line operated by London Underground.
I can see how the ELR opens up Canary Wharf to Forest Hill but I'm not clear why the press releases point at the service to Richmond as an improvement.
It's already possible to get to Richmond in 35 mins via Clapham Junction. Using the south orbital ELR would involve 2 changes and 22 stations, probably making the journey 90 minutes.
By the way does anyone know about ticketing? When the new service starts and I buy a single ticket to New Cross Gate, will there be a price difference between Southern and the Overground and will I be able to get the first train that arrives?
Instead of London Overground how about 'London Orbital' with a train forming the roundel?
|Posted on Thursday, 14 September, 2006 - 10:14 am: |
I think it's a shame it can't remain as The Underground. We've already got a world recognised brand name so why tamper with it?
I like change, but not change for the sake of it.
|Posted on Thursday, 14 September, 2006 - 04:49 pm: |
My understanding is that even without TfL owning the stations there will be more staff, Oyster ticketing and new underground style trains. I want TfL to take control of the stations so that we are in a better position to secure funding for the actual station. Whilst transferring the stations to TfL does not guarantee a station re-build it is a step in the right direction. We are more likely to get better co-ordination and we are more likely to get something from TfL than anyone else - at least access to TfL will stimulate investment.
Since the Mayor of London and TfL were created in 2000 it has a good record for making things happen and investing in public transport like bus network, DLR extensions and the extra capacity on the Jubilee line.
Obviously, TfL like any other organisation has priorities but our job is to convince them that Forest Hill is a priority. I hope I will have the support of local people to work towards this.
The reason that the Crystal Palace to Victoria (via Clapham Junction) has not been included in the ‘overground’ network is that is still operated by the Department for Transport, whereas the East London Line and North London Line is a TfL concession.
I would also like to clarify that TfL want control of the East London Line stations and are in negotiations with the Department for Transport. That is why Jim Dowd MP and I have started a petition.
As for the Mayor being given control of the London rail services – I know there have been discussions with Government around a London Rail Board and that the Government are listening to the Mayor and looking at how else it can improve rail services. However, it is complicated due to the way our rail system is operated, but if you look at the signs with the North London Line and East London Line – it is all moving in the right direction.
Len Duvall AM
London Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham
|Posted on Thursday, 14 September, 2006 - 07:41 pm: |
Where can we sign your petition?
|Posted on Friday, 15 September, 2006 - 09:24 am: |
I don't think I'm alone on this forum in believing that discussion about the East London line suffers from extreme lack of "transparency".
A few months ago, we were all startled to learn that when the ELL arrives, the number of direct trains to and from London Bridge was to be cut by one third outside of the morning rush hour. (I'm sure others will claim to have known this for some time. If so, they weren't telling anyone else!).
For the last few months, I've been badgering officials from Southern as to whether they intend to discontinue the loop from Victoria to London Bridge once the ELL arrives. Finally they tell me that this is "still under consideration".
What is needed is a clear unequivocal "warts and all" statement from politicians exactly what the arrival of the ELL means, what extra staffing is envisaged, the broad timetable of the new line, when Oyster Cards will arrive and why this system would be better under TFL control. The average woman and man in Dartmouth Road are under the illusion that the ELL line is going to be part of the "tube" because they've been fed this simple fact both by politicians and all other "leadership" groups locally. They would be fairly surprised to learn that the arrival of the ELL will mean significant cuts in our existing services.
I'm very positive about the new line (although I think that its new name is a huge marketing mistake and will merely reinforce the mistaken belief that this is just another "suped-up" suburban railway). What we need is clarity and honesty about what is intended. If the arrival of the new line is going to mean cuts in existing services, let's face the facts now and not hide away from them.
|Posted on Friday, 15 September, 2006 - 05:01 pm: |
Victoria Loop - some stations on that line rely on that route I think. Surely the only issue is under whose management the line continues? If there is a possibility it will be discontinued it is absolutely shocking!
|Posted on Friday, 15 September, 2006 - 07:16 pm: |
I would be delighted to be reassured - as I'm sure we'd all be - that the Loop will continue after 2010. Let's have that reassurance now and it will close one more gap in our knowledge of how the lines will operate after 2010.
Pvp - unfortunately,I don't think that stations on the Loop are dependant on there being a direct link running through Forest Hill. Network Rail are desperate to run more trains from "long distance" destinations in the south to Victoria through Norwood Junction. If they cancelled the two Loop trains per hour then they could simply fill these slots with two extra trains per hour from the south through NJ via Crystal Palace and all the stations on the Loop to Victoria.
In 2010, their defence to passengers on our line would run something like this: what do you need the Loop for when you now have four ELL trains per hour going to Crystal Palace? Surely you can now change at CP onto one of the 5-6 trains per hour running through from NJ via Crystal Palace to Victoria. CP is introducing lifts when the new ELL is opened. Could it be to make platform changing a little easier? We've already heard that we're going to lose two trains per hour to and from London Bridge once ELL arrives. Could these by any remote possibility be the two trains per hour that form the Loop?
I'm sorry to appear cynical - but I think all of us were taken by surprise by announcement of cuts just three months ago in our direct line services to London Bridge once the ELL arrives. Which is why I believe that extreme transparency is necessary when dealing with all issues surrounding the new line.
|Posted on Wednesday, 20 September, 2006 - 06:54 pm: |
Len thank you for your response. Regarding TfL taking on the London rail stations from the 2004 report I understand government money currently paid
to train operators will be switched to the Tfl. Therefore is it more important who is at the Treasury than who is the minister responsible for transport?
At the moment how well is Ken getting on with Gordon Brown, if Gordon becomes Prime Minister will that make the transfer to TfL speedier?
I guess the TfL spokesperson attending the Forest Hill Society AGM will be able to answer questions re ticket pricing and possible affects on the 'loop' service.
Re the debate as to 'Overground' or `Underground' have you considered how travel news is presented and how the 'Overground' may get a bad image. Reporters frequently refer to 'problems on the overground' whereas when reporting on the tube they refer to the name of the line, District, Victoria etc.
Stop Press: Today's Evening Standard has a 2 page spread on the new orbital network and throughout refers to throughout to it being the tube. The headline is "More Tubes, more choices" and uses the London Underground roundal rather than the new Overground symbol.
Refering to south east london and the ELL exstension the article states these good value SE postcodes, already attract young homebuyers, who will no longer feel isolated from central London - and prices will soon start to reflect this.
|Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2006 - 09:33 am: |
Why should we feel isolated from Central London? I've worked there for 17 years, it is 30 mins cycle, 20 mins drive when quiet, 13 mins to London Bridge by train, 20 odd to Victoria, decent buses (again outside rush hour). Why is overground a slur yet the tube (crowded and hot, tourists in your way and £4 a time, without getting into an Oyster debate) seen as a panacea. We should be proud to be off the tube map. Well BD is.
I can get out to the Surrey Hills and Epsom Downs, Gatwick and the South Coast with hardly any bother by train. Don't think the tube goes to any of those places. ELL = the New Sainsburys with respect to discussion on this website. May even start my own petition....
|Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2006 - 10:25 am: |
I agree with Loneranger. To most people in this area the words "Overground" represent all of the worst aspects of suburban railways over the last thirty years - poor staffing, late trains, poor service especially in the evenings etc.
I know that suburban railways are slowly crawling out of this poor image and that the new ELL Line will hopefully continue that trend but why saddle the new set-up with such a negative image?
|Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2006 - 12:17 pm: |
How about the name London Metro?
It is a name used to denote a frequent service to a city centre.
|Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2006 - 01:50 pm: |
Nice one Sherwood (as long as the paper hasn't copyrighted it!) I think we should lobby for this. If you were launching a new consumer product, you would test how the proposed name would be received/perceived by surveys and focus groups. If they had done this with the "Overground", the associations would be much as Nasaroc outlines above - "infrequent", "late", "deserted stations".
It seems to me quite inappropriate to give something that is (allegedly) new a name which already exists and has pretty negative connotations. It's like building some new houses in Gloucester and calling them Fred West Mews.
Right - so we want it to be called either "Metro" or "ELR" - like DLR but East London Railway.
How do we get this taken up?
|Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2006 - 02:32 pm: |
Could even get Nine Below Zero to update the classic 'Ridin' On The L&N' which put Tulse Hill on the map to ELR? Track 2...
|Posted on Thursday, 21 September, 2006 - 10:00 pm: |
Why should we feel isolated from Central London? I've worked there for 17 years, it is 30 mins cycle, 20 mins drive when quiet, 13 mins to London Bridge by train, 20 odd to Victoria, decent buses (again outside rush hour). Why is overground a slur yet the tube (crowded and hot, tourists in your way and £4 a time, without getting into an Oyster debate) seen as a panacea. We should be proud to be off the tube map. Well BD is.
I can get out to the Surrey Hills and Epsom Downs, Gatwick and the South Coast with hardly any bother by train. Don't think the tube goes to any of those places. ELL = the New Sainsburys with respect to discussion on this website. May even start my own petition....
24 hours to Tulse Hill (Copyright Carter USM)
And why are we not talking about our wonderful links to Borough Market
|Posted on Friday, 22 September, 2006 - 09:24 am: |
I agree that we are not isolated from Central London, and have to second the Borough Market sentiment.
Isolation seems, however, to be the perception of Forest Hill (rather than the reality), and the perception really does make a difference. If what we are looking for is more investors, shops, etc., that has to change, hence this thread and the concern over whether the rebranding is a positive move.
I don't think we'll know until it's up & running, though, what impression the general public will have of our Overground/Metro/ELR. The proof, as they say...
|Posted on Friday, 22 September, 2006 - 10:08 am: |
Well, as I say, it is best not to saddle something new with a name that bears negative connotations.
There should be a new name for a new system - to demonstrate its newness.
|Posted on Friday, 22 September, 2006 - 03:10 pm: |
I disagree with Calvin that we have to wait until the new line is running and see what people make of it. Inaction is never a good way to ensure things work as you want them to.
"Overground" has clear negative connotations. A new dynamic line with 8 new trains per hour and links to other lines to eventually form an orbital route doesn't sound bad to me so let's christen it with a new dynamic name. Metro is perfect.
|Posted on Friday, 22 September, 2006 - 04:12 pm: |
I didn't exactly say that we have to wait. I have no problem with trying to get the best, most effective & well-branded system possible.
My point is just that the management of the line, no matter what it's called, is going to make or break it. But I am not saying it should start two steps behind with a name nobody likes.
|Posted on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 - 10:00 am: |
A few months ago, Len Duvall announced on this forum that he had intervened to end short trains on the London Bridge to Victoria loop. Good old Len, we all thought, that’s the end of short trains at FH for ever.
But think again. At the inaugural meeting of the Forest Hill Society yesterday evening, Nigel de Souza, the communications manager of the East London Line revealed that every single ELL train will be a short train of only four carriages. Longer trains can’t be accommodated on the line since many of the underground stations further up the line are too short.
Mr de Souza, also proudly revealed an artist’s mock-up showing the inside of the new trains. You can see this by visiting the TFL website, under ELL. To save you the bother, what they have done is to remove all the seats from the centre and placed them tube-style in two rows with their backs to the windows facing one another. In a wide-bodied train this leaves a huge void down the middle. Mr de Souza told us this was to accommodate wheelchairs. (He clearly hadn’t visited FH station where anyone in a wheelchair foolish enough to alight on platform 2 would need the help of the local fire brigade just to get off the platform). It is clear that this extra space is designed to accommodate many extra standing passengers.
It’s all too easy to imagine rush hour at FH station once the new line arrives with everyone trying to force their way onto short trains and having to stand shoulder-to-shoulder all the way to their destination.
Thank goodness we've now got the FH Society to sort out this mess and to reveal some of the true facts behind the new line.
|Posted on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 - 10:50 am: |
Some information mentioned by Councillor John Paschoud at last night's meeting and pased on to me via email:
The Lewisham Council Sustainable Development Select Committee, chaired by Cllr Darren Johnson, is currently undertaking an investigation into planned rail services relevant to the Borough, with a particular focus on the impacts of the East London Line Extension (the 'Overground').
In line with concerns expressed by several people at the inaugural Forest Hill Society AGM, the investigation is concerned to find out, and influence if possible, the OVERALL capacity and frequency of rail services, to ALL destinations, that will be available to residents for commuting and other travel. Therefore we're inviting witnesses from TfL *and* Network Rail and the rail operating companies, and we're being advised by Darien Goodwin and other independent transport experts.
As Labour lead member of the Select Committee, I have also made sure that the scope of our investigation will include the station improvements (at Forest Hill Station in particular) that are vital to encourage more rail travel, and will make an important contribution to the town centre environment in general.
The next meeting of this review will be on Thursday 5th October, starting at 7:30pm at the Town Hall Civic Suite. It's open to the public and members of FHSoc who are interested in transport issues would be most welcome to attend. The agenda should be available shortly via http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Cou ncilMeetings/
|Posted on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 - 12:04 pm: |
I’ve never been able to find a link from that page to the Sustainable Development Select Committee papers but after doing a search of the full name I came across papers for the June meetings:
There was a meeting in September but I haven’t been able to find the minutes yet.
|Posted on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 - 12:36 pm: |
Hi - after earlier discussions on this Forum relating to the Overground brand, I thought you'd be interested in the below response from TfL.
Please see the Press Release about the London Overground proposals - http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/press-relea ses/press-releases-content.asp?prID=886.
It has always been the intention that the East London line extension would be a metro-style service rather than an Underground line, but it will remain on the Tube map. Full details of the extension can be found on our website - http://www.tfl.gov.uk/rail/initiatives/ell-introdu ction.shtml.
Since the announcement of the Overground branding for both the East London Railway and North London Railway, we have had an exceedingly positive response from Stakeholders. Therefore it is perhaps premature to judge whether this development will be detrimental to inward investment around New Cross Gate.
Indeed it would be surprising if potential developers were not more interested in a location that will have a higher frequency of services, and increased connectivity across a wider network with increased capacity on each train. Especially as services will retain TfL standards of customer care that has encouraged considerable development along the Docklands Light Railway.
I hope that these comments are helpful.
|Posted on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 - 05:49 pm: |
Rob - I'm puzzled by your statements.
Who exactly are the "Stakeholders" you refer to who have responded so favourably to the idea that the new line is to be called "Overground". Could you be specific about the exact responses you have received and which individuals you have received them from please?
Why do you refer to this idea having a "detrimental effect to inward investment around New Cross Gate". This is a discussion group for Forest Hill. Who has raised questions about NCG?
You talk of "increased capacity on each train" being a feature of the new set-up. On what basis do you calculate that the new train will have an increased capacity compared with say an average Southern Rail train operating on the same rails? To make this claim you must clearly be able to tell us the exact number of passengers that can be accommodated on the new trains both sitting and standing. I'd appreciate exact figures please.
You also talk of "TFL standards of customer care encouraging development". What exactly in terms of safety, improved stations, improved staffing will this mean in comparison with Forest Hill today and in comparison with the service currently run by Southern?
I look forward to your response.
|Posted on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 - 08:41 pm: |
Interesting to see that it is not only Baggy Dave who is reasonably happy with current train services and not that interested in the link to the underground, overground, whatever. Many at the Forest Hill Society were clearly unhappy about any degradation of the current train service and a few expressed that they were in no hurry to be part of the new system. I'm confused as we will have this link at New Cross Gate, which will have very regular services connecting to the rest of the system, and hence why does it need to run to Crystal Palace and West Croydon (although I my interest is going North not South ie Crystal Palace residents may want 4 services an hour, hey they have good connections anyway so what is the issue). West Croydon is grotty and don't think we should have any more links with it.
To continue having had the pleasure of being in DfT's control centre I had plenty of time to stare at the tranport maps. The complete system has London Bridge/Waterloo roughly in the centre (OK these are topographical representations) whilst the tube map has Baker Street with a mass of SE London missing. And the new overground/underground similarly has London displaced North Eastwards. Shows how important we are. Anyone got the link to the redrawn underground full of South London stations.
|Posted on Tuesday, 26 September, 2006 - 11:10 pm: |
I am very perplexed about the whole ELL/Overground project after having read almost all publicly available material but mostly after Mr. de Souza's presentation at the FHS first AGM. I am tired of reading about how we should take a more positive attitude and hope for the best. Whilst many of you have already highlighted the possible losses in terms of train capacity, frequency and lines, I would like to state the obvious once more and keep my wary attitude. After all nobody is prepared to spend the money to give us an underground rail as it would cost them a fortune. So what do we get? An overground rail with underground style trains (everybody stands, please we have taken away all your seats!) but only 4 cars, nowhere as near as an underground frequency, reduced timetable to London Bridge and Victoria and maybe, just maybe in 2010 there will be “talks” about a refurbishment of our run down station. All we could see on the presentation is how swanky all the brand new 4 stations will be. Shame they are in established and up and coming places like Hoxton, Shoreditch, etc. I am so pleased about Hackney and Tower Hamlets getting yet another face lift. Seriously now! I work in the city between Liverpool Street Station and Shoreditch and despite the crime levels everybody talks about, the commercial activity is booming in every sense. Although major retail chains have invaded the area there is a booming creative industry and with it an amazing array of privately owned businesses doing very well indeed. Our local artist community could certainly be helped by a similar regeneration project. Train stations and transport links are fundamental part of it so the Lewisham council should work very closely to achieve our potential. Do we really have to feel that lucky about the project as it stands? I believe we are being shortchanged. We desperately need a station to redefine our town centre. It ought to be on the project now, not on the TFL agenda in 2010! This is the perfect time for us to knock on every single door and get the service we deserve and our so needed face lift. Millions have been poured into half useless transport projects like the Javelin trains; the Jubilee line extension provided grand modern stations to some deprived areas in the east , here we finally have the chance to see some major changes but we have been overlooked once more. I join all those of you who d rather not see any overground to FH at all if the project is not amended to suit our true needs.
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 11:11 am: |
Excellently put, Millesens!
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 11:33 am: |
Hi Nasaroc - you raise some interesting questions. Unfortunately I don't have any answers. My earlier post was a direct reply from Transport for London customer services regaring some of the concerns raised on this forum. Sorry if that wasn't very clear. I had hoped that TfL's reply would give us some more answers to the Overground proposals, but it seems it's simply raised more questions.
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 12:16 pm: |
I would hve thought that the logical course of action would have been to extend the short underground stations to a normal length - rather than impose a four carriages length limit throughout the line.
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 01:30 pm: |
I do beg your pardon Rob - I honestly did believe that you were from the information department of TFL and you were making a statement about the new railway! My apologies
I will therefore e mail ELLX team direct and ask the same questions.
Frankly, I think most of the statement is pure PR hype and I don't think I'll get any straight answers - but I'll give it a go.
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 01:48 pm: |
Does anyone know which stations have short platforms that are restricting the number of carriages? If they are actually underground it would be difficult (and expensive) to lengthen them. I wonder how long the platforms on the new stations will be? If they'll only accommodate 4 carriages then we can probably rule out any increase in carriage numbers in future. But if they're full length platforms, perhaps that means the possibility of an eventual upgrade? But then why not do it now?? 2012 deadline for the Olympics?! So many questions, so few answers!
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 05:31 pm: |
Wapping, Rotherhithe and Shadwell are all short platforms that can only accommodate 4 carriages. i travel into the city on the East London line every day, extending current underground platforms would take an engineering miracle I would have thought.
By the sounds of all the hype, we will get a worse service with fewer seats! Shall we all jump for joy now?
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 05:38 pm: |
I think a street party is in order. What's not to love about the potential withdrawal of a number of services to LB, East Croydon and Victoria, a couple of new signs at the station and some short trains with no seats going to Dalston?
|Posted on Wednesday, 27 September, 2006 - 05:53 pm: |
I join in, afterall I want to be charged full prices for an inefficent rail service at a portakabin of a station, as long as I can show off my new London Overground Orange Roundel!
|Posted on Thursday, 28 September, 2006 - 11:03 am: |
On 5th October there shall be a number of expert witnesses giving evidence to the Lewisham Council Sustainable Development Select Committee including representatives from Southern Trains, TfL, Transport2000, London TravelWatch, and other organisations.
Members of the public may *observe* the meeting, which I am sure will be very interesting. Hopefully some of our concerns may be answered in this meeting, or possibly they will just be reinforced.
|Posted on Thursday, 28 September, 2006 - 12:31 pm: |
Shadwell is a well dodgy area and should be avoided at all costs. Saw a documentary about this area: www.imdb.com/title/tt0113375/plotsummary
That is why we were better as an enclave. Glad the rest of you are starting to agree with me - we'll be reclaiming the streets next
|Posted on Thursday, 28 September, 2006 - 02:44 pm: |
A few points. On the subject of short stations not only Wapping, Shadwell and Rotherhithe but also Canada Water, recently built for the jubilee line! On Forest Hill station, the ownership rests with Network Rail. I do not think that NR has any real drive or interest in doing anything with this station at present (although this could be something we should confirm through FHS). NR are looking at Waterloo and Victoria as two key sites to enhance and do some development at present. From my experience of NR, it will require a lot of lobbying to make them do anything in terms of a stepped change in the quality of the station and even then I wouldn't hold my breath (the regulated nature of the rail industry not helping). Although TfL may become the station facility owner (SFO) when the ELR opens (instead of Southern) this will not mean that TfL will be able to invest in the station itself as it won't own it. I am strongly of the view that the stations need to be in TfL's ownership since we have more chance lobbying the mayor than DfT and NR (something I think is already happening).
In respect of the potential changes to train services I think there are two issues, train services that can not be run because of physical capacity constraints, and services that are not run for financial reasons. The answer to the first should come from Nigel De Souza, if services are to be reduced we should find out what physically needs to be done to rectify (and hope it won't cost a huge amount) and lobby that the ELR project does this work, on the second we would need to ensure through lobbying that the new rail franchise has to run certain services, something the Mayor would be keen to see as well I suspect (the looser here being possibly the DfT who would get a reduced premium/increased subsidy from the new franchisee.)
Sorry this is a long post for a discussion forum but I've been waiting a while to get my password!
|Posted on Friday, 29 September, 2006 - 03:36 pm: |
Mch - you make some very good points and I think you're right that we need to lobby the powers that be to get an efficient rail system and an improved station. I believe that the new FH Society, in conjunction with other local Societies is the best way to do this.
Part of our problem is that the real facts behind the running of the new ELL and its effects on our existing services are only just coming to light. A few weeks ago, few of us were aware that the new ELL trains were made up of only four carriages or that some of our existing services were under threat.
Now an even greater problem seems to be rearing its ugly head. The signalling systems between West Croydon and London Bridge may not be secure or efficient enough to run more than 12 trains per hour in each direction along this stretch of line. This is also exacerbated by the fact that two sets of trains run by different operators (Southern and ELL)are using the line.
The repercussions of this are serious for existing London Bridge services. If ELL plan to run 8 trains per hour then there are only slots for 4 more trains per hour i.e. 2/3 rush hour trains to London Bridge will have to be cut.
Why don't they just put in a new signalling system you might ask? Simply becasue it is prohibitively expensive. Some of you may remember the huge fuss that was kicked up when the new section of the Jubilee line opened and they were limited in the number of trains they could run. Billions had been spent extending the new line but they decided to stick with the old signalling system because of prohibitive costs. The result was a 21st century train system with a 19th century timetable.
The same fate seems also to be awaiting Forest Hill.
(Let me make it clear that I am NOT saying that the "northern" part of the ELL - the "underground" bit - will suffer from these problems only the existing "overground" line.)
|Posted on Friday, 29 September, 2006 - 04:03 pm: |
Nasaroc - having worked on railways in the past I can say that obstacles to putting new signalling in are not only down to cost but also the fact that fitting it into the space available, now we have new standards, is VERY difficult. The most regular request on our site was for sky hooks!
|Posted on Friday, 29 September, 2006 - 05:07 pm: |
The papers for the Sustainable Development Select Committee meeting on Thursday 5 October are now available online: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Cou ncilMeetings/SDSC051006.htm
The 'Agenda' pdf contains the agenda plus supplementary papers, including the minutes of the previous meeting on 5 September. Item 3 on the agenda is Rail Review - evidence gathering from key witnesses.
|Posted on Monday, 02 October, 2006 - 01:29 pm: |
Doesnt the London "Overground" already exist? On the London Bridge to Erith line (calling at Deptford etc) they have branded that, at every station to Erith, as "ON" (cleverly translated as Overground Network) so wouldnt we just be getting a watered down version of this?
|Posted on Friday, 06 October, 2006 - 10:14 am: |
A few of us attended the Sustainable Development Select Committee yesterday. I expect official minutes will be available on the council website eventually but I wanted to make a few quick comments before I go on holiday:
There are a lot of plans still being worked out by TfL, Southern and particularly by Network Rail (who were not present).
It does seem that there will be less trains for FH to London Bridge but overall there will be more trains due to the ELL trains. To be fair this will allow easy interchange to Jubilee line (for Bond St, Waterloo, Canary Wharf) as well as interchange as Whitechapel to District and Hammersmith lines (Liverpool Street north east of the squ mile). In addition Crossrail will eventually allow interchange at Shorditch for Farringdon, Stratford and fast access to West London.
Speaking to one of the councillors after to meeting it may be that we only have one train per hour direct to Victoria, although more that go to Crystal Palace and Norwood Junction where you can change.
At present TfL have no plans in place for taking over management/ownership of the stations on our route, but have requested that this happens.
Trains longer than 4 carriages will not be possible on ELL due to the stations at Rotherhithe and Wapping. It would cost vast amounts of money to make these bigger and the only alternative, closure of these stations, was rejected by the mayor.
A formal submission will be prepared by the committee with recommendations to all rail providers and other interested parties but a couple of clear ideas were:
* Increased interchange at stations like New X Gate with the possibility of some more fast trains stopping here (likely to be unpopular with Surrey/Sussex/Kent Councils).
* Selling off Network Rail assets around the stations for property developments to fund station improvements. And allowing private developments in close proximity to the stations in return for section 106 money for improvements to stations and surrounding facilities.
|Posted on Friday, 06 October, 2006 - 02:25 pm: |
PLEASE do not degrade the existing service
|Posted on Friday, 06 October, 2006 - 02:34 pm: |
|Posted on Friday, 06 October, 2006 - 03:07 pm: |
yeh yeh yeh
|Posted on Friday, 06 October, 2006 - 03:31 pm: |
http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://ww w.colourcountry.net/images/south-london-undergroun d.png&imgrefurl=http://www.colourcountry.net/image s/south-london-underground.html&h=835&w=1272&sz=29 1&hl=en&start=1&tbnid=WyfkQSTazQJVvM:&tbnh=98&tbnw =150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsouth%2Blondon%2Btube%2Bma p%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D
sorry such a long link, can't copy the pdf file but this is more like it
|Posted on Friday, 06 October, 2006 - 03:41 pm: |
Especially as you, I and the rest of UDB have our wish to secede from West Catford and have become "Horniman". That's more like it!
|Posted on Friday, 06 October, 2006 - 05:16 pm: |
Why don't they and have 8 car trains do what they do at other stations and announce "If you want to get off at Rotherhithe and Wapping, get in the first four carriages."?
Presumably with enough advance thinking the trains can be made so that at these two stations the doors in only four carriages open.
|Posted on Monday, 09 October, 2006 - 07:49 pm: |
Michael,Michael - a couple of hours in the heady atmosphere of Catford Town Hall and you're swinging around like a weathervane! The "overall there will be more trains due to ELL" argument is simply useless to people who want to get to Westminster, London Bridge, the City etc. Going via Canada Water will simply add 20 minutes to the journey.
Think about what the proposed cuts will mean for passengers heading to London Bridge in 2010. To take one example - there are seven trains from FH to LB during the morning rush hour between 7.48am and 8.42. The chances are that three of those trains will be cancelled under the new proposals.
Our answer to this must be crystal clear - NO CUTS IN SERVICES. Anything else is an illusion.
As to your talk of Cross Rail. Are you kidding? When do you think that will arrive?
|Posted on Monday, 09 October, 2006 - 08:55 pm: |
Nasaroc - your talking in terms of the whole picture and that it is what is needed (remember Micheal has made the effort to go along and get involved and keep us updated - you wouldn't be commenting otherwise - tone down the sarcasm!).
It appears that the ELL is not so much intergrated as piggy backed / substituted on to the existing system. You can see the congestion at FH now, as people wait to get on the LB train as opposed to the ELL train. Needs proper consulation and analysis of current commuter traffic. If there is a reduction (which personally I don't want) to LB it must be justified.
Good healthy debate this....
|Posted on Monday, 09 October, 2006 - 09:40 pm: |
I was at the meeting.
Please excuse me if I was sarcastic. I certainly didn't intend to be. And reading back through my posting I can easily see how that could be read into my comments.
My views are that there should be no cuts in existing services and the only way to fight that is to mount a campaign against cuts. Fh1 - I'd love to think that the rail companies are going to carry out a consultation on this issue but they simply aren't going to do that.
|Posted on Monday, 09 October, 2006 - 10:35 pm: |
In my previous post I was not trying to voice my opinion but represent to forum what I believe are the current plans as laid out at the meeting. This does not mean I endorse the plans and I feel some of these plans could be significantly improved if travelling from FH is not to be made worse by cancelling vital services to London Bridge, Victoria etc.
However, with regard to travelling to Westminster you will find that I direct train to Canada Water and changing to Jubilee line would be faster than the Southern service to London Bridge.
New Cross Gate - London Bridge 8 mins
London Bridge - Westminster 6 mins
New Cross Gate - Canada Water 5 mins
Canada Water - Westminster 10 mins
A difference of 1 minute not 20 minutes (and changing at London Bridge takes longer than at Canada Water so it is probably marginally quicker via Canada Water). Coupled with the fact that between the two routes you will be able to get trains from FH more often. This would be an improved service to Westminister or anywhere on Jubilee. But a much reduced service for connections (at London Bridge) to the Northern Line, which is important to many people living in FH.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 01:23 am: |
London Bridge is so convenient for the City as well as central London. It's handy being able to get a train from there to Charing X.
Also if I thought the Jubilee line could take the strain at Canada Water then fair enough, but I know from bitter experience how packed it gets in the rush hour and how difficult it is to get a fast Jubilee line connection at peak times.
The problem has always been that the Jubilee services are not quite as frequent as on other lines.
London Bridge is also only a short walk from the city so I'd hate to see this much needed service reduced.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 09:49 am: |
If the service to London Bridge were to be reduced to 4 trains p.h., there would be a danger that there would be no room on them the closer the train gets to London Bridge. Many of the trains are pretty packed as it is. Imagine that with 50% less service. This could be compensated by having longer trains into London Bridge as I think there are no platform problems on this line.
Also I agree with Sherwood - why not just have lots of signs and announcements that people need to be in the front 4 carriages for these two stations? It seems silly to limit a lines capacity for 2 stops that only a small proportion of those using the line frequent.
Victoria - I agree, this line is useful, especially for Clapham Junction. However, if one will be able to change onto many trains at Crystal Palace, it is an acceptable answer if there is not enough capacity for London Bridge Croydon, London Bridge - Victoria, and East London Line.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 10:10 am: |
True, London Bridge is very convenient for the City, but so are Wapping and Shadwell, both on the ELL!
I do agree on the 4 carriages point - on the Northern line, at one or two of the Clapham stations I think, there are stops where some of the doors don't open because the platform is too short.
Admittedly, it's only one door as opposed to a whole 4 carriages but still, I don't see why something along the lines of telling people to move to the front 4 carriages if they want to get off at Wapping or Rotherhithe couldn't work.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 10:47 am: |
I doubt they’d allow 2 carriages that don’t open onto a platform for safety reasons – in an emergency people would have to walk into the other carriages to get out.
I attended the meeting last week and took some notes which I haven’t got round to typing up yet. Will try to do so today.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 11:28 am: |
A couple of points on ease of journey.
I go to Clapham Junction once a week. If I miss the direct train, I go to East Croydon and pick up the fast train to CJ. This takes about the same time as the direct route, say 25 minutes.
When we have the East London line, we may lose the direct to Victoria via Clapham Junction, but we will have two trains per hour permitting change at E Croydon, and four trains an hour permitting change at Crystal Palace (plus four via Norwood Junction and West Croydon, but these would certainly be longer journeys). I don't think that is worse than the current arrangement by any means. It will make journeys into West and Southwest London a great deal easier, with less need to plan to be at the station at just the right time.
So far as change to the Jubilee and to trains into the City is concerned, the connections at Canada Water, Wapping and Shadwell will be much easier than the London Bridge change, which can take 10 minutes or more (especially when passengers are being platooned in the ticket hall at busy times).
This is not to say that we don't need to keep a close eye on proposals as they evolve!
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 02:00 pm: |
The thing these timings miss is that whenever you insert a change of train you are at an increased risk of getting a delayed or extended wait for a train.
We must continue to pressure for the current service to be maintained.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 03:15 pm: |
Anyone know why Forest Hill station is named "Horniman" on the new overground map?
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 04:40 pm: |
This is because those of us in on the right side of the tracks want no more to do with you lot from the other and your sofa-in-the-garden ways
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 05:10 pm: |
Marianne: the map BaggyDave linked to above is just a joke. The last time I looked the official map still said Forest Hill. The creation of an official area known as Horniman would be helpful though - the snobs up on the hill could have their own identity and leave Forest Hill to us mere mortals.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 05:58 pm: |
Ex Cllr Whiting, I beg to strongly differ with your statement and rationale, and would respectfully point out that the experiences needs and wishes of the occasional commuter to Clapham Junction are likely to be very different to those to do the journey into town ( and beyond) every day at rush hour.
As one of the latter I do not relish at all the prospect of the removal of the Victoria service which needs to be increased, not decreased to the point of oblivion. It has proved very useful in getting home from West London in the evenings.
I relish even less the prospect of having to change trains at Canada Water which is desolate, out of the way, and if you happen to get stuck there, how is one to get home to Forest Hill.? Where is the back up network of buses?
The same applies to Crystal Palace and the Norwoods. You also have to pay to travel through zone 4/5 at present if you want to change at East Croydon to go anywhere. Not everyone realises this but it is strictly the policy, and they have applied it. Are they now going to make an exception to this?
There are often many problems with the London Bridge service, but all in all it has improved greatly over the last 15 years, and is essentially why more and more people want to move to Forest Hill. To remove or even cut any of these services will disastrous. These proposals do not reflect the wishes or needs of the people living in this area, rather they have been formulated on the back of some regeneration strategy for East London which intends to use the public transport system as a leverage for residential development in new communities at the expense of existing. The fact remains that most people who live here want to commute to and from central London with improved services, not go round the houses when a straight line will do.
I say the talking is fine, but we are being steamrollered here, and its surely time to step up a gear and take some more concerted action. I think we need to think seriously about taking some action at the station, such as a demonstration, sit in- something that will attract decent press coverage to the issues that concern us.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 07:50 pm: |
I agree with Roz. I also don't see the advantage of paying extra to go out to East Croydon and back into Clapham Junction. Plus, once again I refer you to my experience of the Jubilee line. It's not imo quite frequent enough to deal with an increase in passenger traffic at Canada Water and if there are delays there Roz is correct that you could end up feeling a bit stranded. At least if there are problems at London Bridge I can hop on a train to Lewisham.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 08:50 pm: |
I am not sure if this helps. But I think you can get a train to Clapham Junction from Waterloo. This would, obviously, involve getting a train to London Bridge, then to Waterloo East and a walk over the bridge to Waterloo.
However, I am disappointed that the extension of the ELL to Forest Hill will mean a reduction of mainline trains. Personally, I find the current timetable very good.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 09:00 pm: |
A couple of points of fact followed by points of opinion.
First Her Majesties Railway Insepctorate would never allow whole carriages not to open their doors in tunnels, so I'm afraid 8 car trains on the ELL are not going to be possible unless a lot of money is spent on Wapping, Rotherhithe and Canada Water et al.
Canada Water is also the best non cross platform interchange on the underground network. If you haven't been there try it (and Roz it is not desolate. It is a manned underground station with CCTV cameras.)
Clearly the ideal would be to have all our current services plus extra ones. To take the line that we should go and protest does not get my vote since it seems a little bit over the top. Forest Hill will gain a more frequent rail service, an easier interchange on to the Jubilee Line and its name on the Tube Map. Yes there will be some drawbacks but that has been the comprmise taken at this stage. As I said on a previous post we would do well to try and find out what changes would need to be made to the infrastructure in order to allow the current frequency to LB to be kept. Then campaign for that work to be carried out (a more positive protest.)
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 10:21 pm: |
Well there you go...a mix of opinions.
I stand by mine that a reduction in direct trains to London Bridge and the end of the Victoria loop is not compensated alone by trains to Canada Water. I'm not convinced by the current proposals.
|Posted on Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 - 11:02 pm: |
Come out of Canada Water station late at night, try and find a bus or taxi to Forest Hill. Theres a challenge. I rest my case.
The issue is not whether the station is manned, the immediate locality certainly isn't, so to speak. Maybe as a woman I put things like accessibility and safety higher on the agenda.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 10:04 am: |
It is a bit of a Doomsday scenario. If there were no ELL trains home then you would just have to proceed to London Bridge. I can't see both Jubilee and ELL being off at the same time other than exceptionally. You can't cater for every eventuality.
To add my ever-reasoned (!) input to the debate, the increased overall frequency is to be welcomed but like many people I want to go into the City, not to Dalston. It would seem regrettable if the LB service were to be cut and I would be surprised if the signalling could not achieve headways of 3 minutes (seeing as it does at LB itself!), thus allowing a full service on each line. There is certainly sufficient demand to fill the trains.
I do wonder if there is actually a wish to prevent so many of us going via LB and divert us elsewhere, given the congestion there. By routing us elsewhere they lessen the number of passengers trying to change and lessen the number of trains queueing for platforms in the morning...
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 10:24 am: |
I believe it is the case that London Bridge is particularly crowded and that the station itself is at capacity. Therefore the chance to reduce trains coming in from Forest HIll would free up platform space for other train services.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 11:14 am: |
Why is everyone talking as if the ELL does not access the City. I accept that it very much depends on which bit of the City you work in but if you're based around Tower Hill or Liverpool Street then both Wapping and Shoreditch are in easy walking distance!
And equally, people seem to want to have their cake and eat it - there will by necessity have to be a bit of compromise. That doesn't mean we roll over and accept what's put on our plate but it does mean that we should at the very least accept that not all the changes will be welcome to absolutely everyone.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 12:11 pm: |
(Apologies in advance for the length of this post.)
Here’s a summary of relevant points made at Lewisham Council’s Sustainable Development Select Committee, 5/10/2006. Please remember that this is based on my personal note-taking and has not been seen or endorsed by the participants. Official minutes will eventually be available on Lewisham’s website.
Paul Dean (Head of Rail Planning, TfL): TfL’s long-term transport strategy is called Transport 2025 (86 page document here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/T2025.pdf and 92 page slide pack here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/downloads/pdf/T2025-slid e-pack.pdf )
Richard Bourn (London Campaigner, Transport 2000): supports what TfL are doing but has issues with the general approach of Transport 2025, ie the predicted growth in the amount of travel, rather than the number of people travelling. Solutions to ease congestion are locating jobs away from the centre; meeting needs locally and reducing the need to travel; and contra-peak travel, ie encouraging travel in the opposite direction to peak travel.
Darien Goodwin (Head of Transport, Lewisham): 2025 looks to make best use of the rail network to increase capacity but this will have downsides for users, eg long trains means further to walk to the ticket barriers, and more standing room means fewer seats. The perception of journeys may become worse because it’s capacity that’s being addressed, rather than customer experience. Destinations who want a Metro-style service, such as Lewisham, may not benefit in the way they expect.
Cllr Mark Bennett: assumption that fewer people will want to go to London Bridge?
Cllr John Paschoud: do non-stopping trains that go through Forest Hill stop at New Cross Gate? If so could this be a London Bridge/ELLX interchange – which would increase passenger capacity to LB?
Cllr Philip Peake: ELLX would run on the same corridor as Thameslink – is there a proposal for an interchange? Paul Dean (TfL): would be looked at as part of the ongoing RUS.
Cllr Philip Peake: short platforms at existing ELL stations – is ongoing development taking into consideration future expansion? Would the new stations have longer platforms? Paul Dean (TfL): ELLX will remain a 4 carriage railway. Didn’t know about the new stations – would need to check and respond back. Darien Goodwin (Hd of Transport, Lewisham): issues about Mayor’s powers over long-distance trains, eg enforcing extra stops. It had almost been decided to close Wapping etc stations as part of the ELLX project. Paul Dean (TfL): the Mayor had wanted them to stay open and therefore the project had to go ahead on the basis of a 4 carriage railway.
In response to questions on station accessibility, Paul Dean (TfL) replied that, to his knowledge, no major changes would be made and there would be no substantive work to introduce step-free access at this stage. TfL would be responsible for a basic level of facilities at stations – “making stations presentable” – and would concentrate on safety and security.
The Committee later decided to invite representatives from Network Rail (a rep had been invited to this meeting but had been unable to attend) and TfL to their meeting on 9 January 2007 for a rail review update.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 12:13 pm: |
My own comments following my post above:
Destinations we don’t want to lose: as well as London Bridge and Victoria there’s also Charing Cross (2 per hour – nights and Sundays).
Routes: it seems the prime motivation is to increase capacity rather than improve user experience. Strategically TfL will be concerned with transport at a London level, rather than local level, so the likes of us wanting a better service isn’t going to carry as much weight as increasing capacity across the whole network and actively changing live/work travel patterns.
ELLX carriage capacity: the layout of the carriages is supposed to increase standing capacity but TfL’s picture shows a lot of floor space but very few hand rails! Some vertical poles at very spaced out intervals and no horizontal rails (as on Underground carriages). I know such pictures don’t always represent the finished product, but I think we need some assurances that the expected standing capacity of the carriages will be matched with sufficient hand-holds. I’d also like to know what the estimated seating and standing capacity per carriage is, both for ELLX and existing Southern trains.
Usage: I’d like to see data on current and expected usage in terms of passenger numbers and destinations. I’d also like to know what/who is driving the new schedule – is it based on projected usage or does the ELLX need to run x trains an hour to justify the project’s expenditure and therefore it takes priority over Southern’s services? To what extent are Ken Livingstone and TfL influencing this?
Councillors: two of our local councillors (from both side of the tracks) are on the Committee: John Paschoud and Philip Peake (and the Chair, Darren Johnson, is a Brockley councillor). We’re therefore in a good position to communicate our concerns to them. Shall we thrash out some issues on here and then present them with a comprehensive list?
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 05:26 pm: |
I think that sounds like a good idea.
I find the current service (6 trains to London Bridge every hour) very acceptable.
I can see no reason why the extension of the ELL through Forest Hill should result in a deterioration of service.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 06:04 pm: |
Could the following be a cheap and cost effective solution or a mad idiotic idea?
8 car ELR tube/trains via New Cross Gate do not stop at the stations with short platforms? Trains from New Cross would be 4 cars and stop at Wapping etc.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 09:12 pm: |
That sounds like a possibility.
But I still think it is reasonable for 8 car trains to have the front 4 carriages opening at the 2 stations with short platforms.
People who want to get on or off at these 2 stations will get used to it. If they get in the wrong carriage, they will just get off at the next station and get the next train back.
I do not see a problem with the rear 4 carriages not opening their doors while they are in the tunnel. This is normal.
Personally, I cannot see what advantage the ELL will bring to Forest Hill if we lose mainline trains. We can already catch a mainline train to New Cross Gate and change, if we want to access the ELL.
|Posted on Wednesday, 11 October, 2006 - 09:25 pm: |
Yes, but the existing ELL isn't very frequent, and nor is it co-ordinated with the overground - so you can be adding 10-15 minutes to a journey. Whilst my feelings are mixed and I find it hard to make an "either/or" choice when what I really want is "both", I can think of journeys which are not too practical now because of having to change at New X (e.g. to Whitechapel or Liverpool St) or which will be much easier with the ELL due to the less tiresome changes (e.g. Bond St or Kings Cross). However, it is the journeys to London Bridge that I will still need to make most days. The problem arises if everyone is the same as me and not enough people are interested in the other options!
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 10:28 am: |
Blushing Snail makes the sensible suggestion that we list our concerns and present them to local councillors etc. I don't think that this would be difficult - almost all of us agree that we want to retain our existing services, see improvements to FH station (including better staffing and ticketing) and maximise the advantages of the ELL line with adequate trains and late-night timetabling. This is something that almost all FH citizens could unite around.
But could I suggest that we do this through the FH Society and link with other Societies up and down the line who share our concerns. I think that this would be far more effective than appearing before councillors as a "few people who post on the SE 23 site".
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 11:42 am: |
Carriages in tunnels not opening doors is not normal. On stations on the underground where HMRI have given a dispensation to their safety standards it is only where a set of doors in a carriage do not open, not whole carriages. And not stopping at certain stations would go against the concept of a metro service whereby all trains stop at all stations.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 12:06 pm: |
Nasaroc, another point to add to your request is the possibility of redesigning New Cross Gate Station. As mentioned in Modern Railways the proposal is:
The current platforms are 1-5 reading from East to West. So the current ELL platform is 1, slow down is at 2, fast down at 3, fast up at 4, slow up at 5.
This set up does not promote good interchange.
If the tracks are slewed to the East the following arrangment is possible, down slow 1, down fast 2, up fast 3, up slow 4, 5 is not used in regular service (but would be good for resiliance if things go wrong.)
This would allow fast trains to stop at NXG and then have cross platform interchange to the slow trains (and vice versa).
There would still need to be pressure on the refranchised Southern contract in 2010 to ensure that more fast trains stop at NXG.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 02:13 pm: |
There are 4 lines through Forest Hill to New Cross Gate. I do not understand why the number of trains stopping at Forest Hill has to be reduced.
I think that at present there is only one ELL track to New Cross Gate. Presumably this must restrict the frequency of ELL underground trains to this station.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 03:18 pm: |
Mch - the points you make on the redesigning on New Cross Gates are good ones and until you'd raised it in such a clear way hadn't occurred to me. Your right - these should also be incorporated into our list of targets for a better railway system in 2010.
Can anyone make any suggestions as to how we should now proceed with such a campaign?
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 03:24 pm: |
Sherwood: south of New Cross Gate the ELLX will run on the same tracks as the Southern trains (ie the slow up and down lines). At NCG the northbound ELLX train will veer off onto a new bridge that will take it over the other lines and enable it to join the existing ELL track. The southbound ELLX track will merge with the existing slow southbound train track at NCG. The time it takes to safely change points/signals/whatever to allow ELLX trains to leave/join the national rail tracks will limit the frequency of trains along those tracks. If there are 8 ELLX and, say, 6 Southern trains per hour in each direction, that would be a train roughly every 4 minutes along each line, and that’s not allowing for stopping time on the platform. If other, non-stopping, services use those slow lines, or if Network Rail builds in capacity for services to do so in the event the fast lines are out of action, then that would further limit the number of scheduled trains able to run on the slow lines.
Also, there are no track points between the slow and fast lines that would enable trains to run fast from NCG to Forest Hill (although there are between FH and Sydenham, which is why, if a train has broken down at NCG, the southbound trains can run on the fast line and crossover onto the slow line after FH, so they can stop at Sydenham).
Helpful or clear as mud?!
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 03:51 pm: |
That is helpful. Thank you.
However, it is my opinion that the extension of the ELL through Forest Hill will not bring us any benefit. It seems to me to be a muddling together of two different lines. (One of which we can already access by going to New Cross Gate.) Hence the capacity problem.
Presumably this is a cheap solution designed to make us think we are connected. I suppose we are not important enough to get a proper underground line in south London.
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 04:15 pm: |
Does anyone know if there are any examples in London where national rail and Underground services share the same track? Or will ELLX be the first?
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 06:03 pm: |
The District Line between Richmond and Gunnersbury?
|Posted on Thursday, 12 October, 2006 - 08:03 pm: |
Sorry, Nasaroc and others, I'm a little tardy in posting - Michael asked me to scan and answer comments relating to the Forest Hill Society.
The Society will be forming a Transport Sub-Committee, and the stations in Forest Hill and Honor Pak Park will obviously be a focus of the committee, as will following the developments of the Overground or whatever it is finally called. We are now awaiting a response to our questions at the General Meeting from TfL, and we will continue to pursue as many avenues as possible to get at the relevant information.
In any case, the Forest Hill Society is here to voice the concerns of the residents of Forest Hill. We will be monitoring this site, and listening to as many other voices as we are able, and passing that on in a meaningful format, as the Sub-Committee will decide.
The debate should continue here of course, and when the Sub-Committee is formed and a Chair is chosen, that person will give us an outline of how the Society, at least, will proceed with presenting Forest Hill's concerns to the appropriate powers-that-be. I believe we can expect a comment around the end of the month.
|Posted on Friday, 13 October, 2006 - 12:17 am: |
Does anyone know if there is an overriding technical reason why the fast line platforms at FH can't be rebuilt? Now that would put us on the map - more trains to LB and Thameslink maybe.
I'm guessing that the existing platforms would need altering to give sufficient clearance.
I suppose investing £0.5m for a new station building is too much, so we can forget a few million on such actual service improvements.
|Posted on Friday, 13 October, 2006 - 10:49 am: |
Apparently they were too narrow - think I read this in the local history book. If you needed to build them the correct width I expect that would mean rebuilding the outer platforms, widening the bridge etc.
|Posted on Friday, 13 October, 2006 - 12:40 pm: |
I doubt that there would be any point rebuilding the fast track platforms, as fast trains would not want to stop at Forest Hill.
They could stop at New Cross Gate as each track has a platform.
I have wondered whether it would have made sense to use the 2 tracks on the east side for the ELL and dedicate the 2 west side tracks to mainline sevices. But this would require a new platform at several stations.
|Posted on Saturday, 14 October, 2006 - 09:41 am: |
On a couple of points.
LUL also works with Network Rail on the Metropolitan Line. The arrangements are all governed by Access Agreements the terms of which are ultimately set by the Office of the Rail Regulator. Such an Access Agreement will be needed for the running of ELL and Southern trains from NXG south.
The cost of rebuilding the fast platform at Forest Hill is prohibitively expensive (because of modern safety standards and there would be no business case for doing so (business case being the detailed study where transport planners compare the cost of works to the benefits they deliver in terms of journey time saved.)
As for tactics I’ll share my views and knowledge at the Forest Hill Society sub committee.
|Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 05:15 pm: |
Nasaroc is getting the two issues confused. I intervened to get extra carriages put on the Southern rush hour trains, this has nothing to do with the East London Line. I would never claim that the Southern train service is perfect but extra carriages means that those at Sydenham and Forest Hill have more chance of getting a seat and for those further up the line it means more chance of getting on the train.
You can sign mine and Jim Dowd’s petition, calling on the Department of Transport to transfer ownership of the stations to TfL at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am quite clear that the East London Line will bring improvements to Sydenham and Forest Hill. As mentioned before it will mean better safety and security, more staff at stations, Oyster ticketing at all stations and an alternative journey route – with trains every 8 minutes. However, I recognise that we need to closely monitor how it will affect current train services. Transport for London tell me that they are currently developing the service pattern proposals for this route and the South London route utilisation strategy will look at all the south London routes and work up a plan for all the services – this will also include the ELL services. The consultation document will be available spring 2007.
I am asking TfL what passenger forecasting work have they done. They did tell me that the East London Railway will operate to tube hours (not suburban train hours).
Len Duvall AM
Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham
|Posted on Friday, 27 October, 2006 - 05:52 pm: |
What benefit would FH station receive if ownership (or even management) were transferred to TfL?
- better safety and security: it already has CCTV
- more staff at stations: doing what? Patrolling the platforms? Or more ticket office staff?
- Oyster ticketing: that’s coming regardless of the ELLX.
Oyster is a sore point with me anyway: the reason non-Oyster cardholders are so disadvantaged is because TfL created that situation. They deliberately developed a system that penalises non-Oyster users, despite a sizable proportion of passengers purchasing their tickets/travelcards from rail stations, which don’t sell tickets on Oyster. So excuse me if I don’t buy into the idea that TfL is the saviour of transport in SE London.
|Posted on Sunday, 29 October, 2006 - 09:31 am: |
Blushingsnail, can you further explain why Oyster penalises non-Oyster users?
As for the ownership issue, if we ever want to see a new station that makes a positive contribution to the urban realm on both sides of the track, then this will only come about with the freehold title of the station in the ownership of a body that is ultimatly controlled by a directly electable mayor of London. Network Rail are never going to do anything.
|Posted on Sunday, 29 October, 2006 - 10:59 am: |
Mch, If the bulk of passengers use Oyster card then those in charge can significanly increase the cost of single/return tickets and travelcards way above inflation rates without a large public reaction.
I work frequently and at irregular times in different locations. It doesn't make sense to have an annual travelcard and because all my journies begin with a train I can't use an Oyster card.
The other week I was at Charlton and noticed a the return fare for a journey into Zone 1 is £2.80ish. A similar type of journey on the tube appears to be £6.
Many of my journies include train & tube. Since Oyster cards were introduced £7.80 weekend travelcards have been scrapped, now I have to buy 2 daily travelcards costing £10.80.
It does seem as those in power have deblibrately jacked up the price of tickets to make Oyster cards look like a bargain?
With the announcement the pricing of rail tickets will be brought in line with the Zones used by TfL I wondered if the fares will then increase to match the tube prices. By that time Pay-As-Go Oysters should be usable on the railways.
And finally...I believe the minimum top-up allowed on an Oyster is £10, which could disadvantage those on low incomes.
....Hands the anorak emblazened with "I train at Forest Hill" back to Les...mmm thinks should I put the minutes of the first meeting Forest Hill Model Railway Society on here?
|Posted on Sunday, 29 October, 2006 - 01:02 pm: |
Len - In addition to the two questions asked above by blushingsnail could I ask you to clarify three issues:
The article "On the Move" on page 8 of the November 2006 issue of Lewisham Life which contains a picture and a quote from you says that "newly linked stations will be fully staffed at all time while trains are running." Your submission above seems to fall short of this clear and unequivocal statement. Could you clarify the exact staffing that's been planned please?
2. Scrapping existing trains
Most of us are aware of the south London RUS that you mention above. But we'd expect you as our political representative to do a great deal more than just "monitor" the situation. Can you make it clear on this forum that whilst welcoming the new East London Line you do not believe that any existing services should be scrapped and that you will fight to ensure this does not happen. In fact it might be a great idea to start a petition on this issue. Would you be willing to sign such a petition? (I've signed yours by the way and encourage others to do the same).
3. Bad news on ELL
I notice that you wish to distance yourself from the "short ELL trains" issue by drawing attention to my apparent "confusion". Just for the record - you must have regular meetings with TFL and Southern Rail. It's inconceivable that you weren't one of the first to know that all ELL trains were to be only four carriages and that many existing services were to be cancelled. Why didn't you let you let your constituents know about these issues immediately rather than allowing them to find out later by chance? Is there any more hidden bad news about the coming of the ELL that we should know about?
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 08:37 am: |
Loneranger, can't argue with you about the "plan" to make Oyster more attractive than paper tickets, which from TfL's perspective makes sense in reducing costs. The problem is with those passengers who have to start their journey on a train line that doesn't offer Oyster and hence you end up paying more. And from what I have read the introduction of zonal fares will be in effect chaning all current national rail fares to be the same as the Underground.
I may be putting too much store in the office of Mayor of London but theoritically the people can at least petition, complain, not re-elect the Mayor if they are dissatisfied with his policies on fares. In practice harder to do?
Which leads me to final question, what will be a) the ticketing system and b) the ownership structure of the Forest Hill Model Railway Society be? (Initial thought, lets adopt the leaf as legal tender and we can all become incredibly rich [apologies to DA])
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 09:01 am: |
I understand that fares in our area will increase under the new arrangements.
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 12:10 pm: |
I am a bit surprised that the question of passenger forecasting is raising its head only now. Surely this is the key determinant of travel provision, not the other way round? I do hope that you can unearth the answer and let us know as a matter of urgency. I can however make an educated guess that many current passengers will have severe problems getting to work in the centre of town due to more trains going where they aren't needed and fewer where they are.
As a regular commuter I am not aware of anyone conducting any passenger movement surveys on the Forest Hill- London Bridge line.
Oyster- I would appreciate knowing when this is going to be made available at Forest Hill station. Like the fallible human being that I am, I occasionally forget to renew my travel card when in town, so tomorrow morning I will need to buy a one way ticket into LB before I can update my ticket. It all adds to the cost.
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 01:11 pm: |
Mch: penalisation of non-Oyster users – paying fares with cash costs more than pay-as-you-go Oyster. Not a problem with buses if you have a travelcard (because they’re now valid on all buses, regardless of zone) but if you want a London Underground zone extension ticket you need a paper ticket, which costs twice the price than PAYG-Oyster. For infrequent users it’s also a pain trying to work out if a one day travelcard would be cheaper than a rail ticket and a couple of bus trips, what with factoring in cash fares being more expensive and Oyster daily price-capping seeming like a good idea until you remember it doesn’t include the rail ticket so perhaps a travelcard would be better and so on and so on ...
New station: why would TfL (or anyone) build a new station at FH? Not on aesthetic grounds – they’re not going to spend millions of pounds of public money just because some of the locals don’t like the look of the existing station. And as FH is one of the most heavily used stations in the borough, having a ‘portacabin’ station obviously isn’t doing any harm to passenger numbers. FH isn’t in dire need of regeneration (compared with areas of east London or Deptford etc) and it already has good transport links, so there’s no justification for a major transport project on that score. Access/disability discrimination is the strongest argument, but that applies to thousands of rail stations across the country and Network Rail is already taking (small) steps in that direction with the Railways for All strategy. And Network Rail/TfL won’t be looking at FH in isolation: with limited money they’ll be looking for ways to produce the most benefits ACROSS THE ENTIRE NETWORK at low cost, so expect station adaptations rather than new-builds and a ranking of what type of work at which stations will produce the most cost effective benefits. I’d say the likelihood of FH being rebuilt is low, regardless of ownership, although I’d be happy to be wrong!
Nasaroc: I don’t think it was a secret that the ELL trains would have only 4 carriages (the info has been on the TfL website for many months), it’s just that nobody picked up on it until we realised the London Bridge services were to be reduced.
Roz: passenger movement surveys: I’ve had a couple of these over the years. It’s a leaflet that you fill in with details of your public transport usage during a specific week and then post back to them. I think they were being handed out at FH station a few weeks ago but I wasn’t given one this time.
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 02:23 pm: |
Roz - you can renew your weekly oystercard at the newsagent just up from Boots. I do this every week.
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 03:11 pm: |
Oyster top-up info:
Top-up at a Tube station/ticket stop: 10p minimum
Online top-up: £10 minimum
Auto top-up: either £20 or £40, only
£90 is the maximum you can hold on a PAYG-Oyster
And I found some good news! If you buy an annual travelcard on Oyster you’re still entitled to national rail discounts in south-east England. They give/send you a Gold Record Card which you show at railway ticket offices in the same way as showing a paper annual travelcard.
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 03:56 pm: |
Thanks Jalapeno- my card is a monthly travelcard and I am not sure whether the same applies, but I will investigate. However if it can be done at a newsagent, why not at a station.....
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 04:37 pm: |
You can buy the following tickets at ‘Oyster Ticket Stops’ (eg certain newsagents):
On an Oyster card:
- 7 Day Bus Pass (Adult and Discount*)
- 7 Day Travelcard (Adult, Child and Discount*)
- Monthly Travelcards (Adult, Child and Discount*)
- Monthly Bus Pass (Adult and Discount*)
- Annual Bus Pass (Adult and Discount*)
- Oyster pay as you go
*Discount = 16-17, New Deal, Student (different rates apply between these categories)
[So you can buy Weekly and Monthly travelcards, but not Annual]
- One Day Bus Pass (Adult)
- Peak and Off-Peak Day Travelcards (Adult and Child)
- 3 Day Travelcards (Adult and Child)
- 7 Day Bus Pass (Adult)
- Bus Saver (Adult)
‘Ticket Stops’, on the other hand, only sell these tickets (presumably paper, not Oyster):
- One Day Bus Pass (Adult)
- Bus Saver (Adult)
- 7 Day Bus Pass (Adult)
- Peak and Off-Peak Day Travelcard (only from the Zone in which the Ticket Stop is located to Zone 1)
You can find ‘Oyster Ticket Stops’ and ‘Ticket Stops’ using the map or postcode search links at the bottom of this page http://www.tfl-ticketlocator.co.uk/
You see Mch? Another reason rail users are penalised – it takes three people to work out where to buy the blasted ticket from!
|Posted on Monday, 30 October, 2006 - 06:21 pm: |
And so it is (very well) proved that Oyster penalises rail users. Hopefully this would be resolved if there was an intergrated ticketing approach to ALL of London, say Oyster card, and that the top up limits were reconsidered, and that the fares from FH don't increase.
On the station front there is another way of looking at it. The current site of the station is in fact a valuable piece of real estate in London. In order to meet the housing targets required of the Mayor and DCLG, a development on this site would be a "good" idea. If within this development a new station could be built, and better accessibility and better intergration into the urban realm all for no additional funding, you have a very attractive scheme to the public sector. It would deliver against policy targets without costing money (ok it would probably cost the few car parking spaces, but are they really needed?) And I just think that TfL is more likely to make this sort of thing happen than Network Rail. Perhaps I am being anti NR?
Should this be something the residents of Forest Hill would want (we might even get something like the clock tower back or the fountain as suggested in another thread?)
|Posted on Wednesday, 01 November, 2006 - 10:23 am: |
I agree with Mch that refurbishing FH station is a matter of looking at the whole site as a piece of real estate and drawing the various agencies -commercial, train operators etc - together.
Surely this is an ideal job for our councillors.
|Posted on Wednesday, 01 November, 2006 - 10:24 am: |
1) Staffing – TfL say it will have the same standards as the London Underground, which is fully staffed while trains are running. The North London Line model is the benchmark for future ‘London Overground’ staffing and we will need to monitor this.
2) I am more than happy to sign your petition, I would not want to see a reduction in current services. To my knowledge nothing is definite, although I will continue to make representations. The only issue of course will be safety and I am looking at how many trains we can physically put on the line.
3) Hands up – I was not aware that the ELL trains would consist of 4 carriages or that there could be a threat to London Bridge services until it came up on the forum, which is why I find the forum useful to double check information. Although in hindsight I suppose it is no surprise that it is 4 carriages given that the current ELL consists of 4 carriages. However, you have to take into account increased frequency and not just capacity. TfL has made the decision that it will continue to stop at short platform stations. We can lobby for it to be extended in the future, but I am keen to just get the line up and running first.
Regarding, possible reduction to London Bridge services - I have been asking, for some time, both Southern and TfL about the effect on services to London Bridge and whether the Crystal Palace - Victoria loop will be discontinued. I reported on the South London Route Utilisation strategy a while ago, which was what I was told. I do not have regular meetings with Southern - unlike TfL - but rest assured I will raise it with them at my next meeting
Blushingsnail – I do not think TfL is the saviour of transport but it has a better record in its short existence than most transport bodies. Mch says it better than me – that we are more likely to get improvements under TfL than Network Rail.
We can’t stop introducing transport/ticketing improvements because one section of London cannot utilise it. It is only because of people like me and you putting pressure on Train Operating Companies that even means it is on the horizon. Private operating companies seldom do something for nothing. TfL offered to pay towards the installation of Oyster Pre-Pay at overground stations but the TOC’s refused. Make no mistake I am aware how unfair it has been for South Londoners which is why I have lobbied heavily the Department for Transport, the Train Operating Companies, TfL and the Mayor of London (especially in relation to the increase in non-Oyster fares) to introduce it asap.
Roz – passenger forecasting is only coming up now as this is the first I have heard of possible cuts to London Bridge services, despite pressing for information.
To finish off on some positive news – from Dec 11 2006 Southern are extending the following services:
1. Two extra carriages on 0654 Epsom to London Bridge via Sydenham
2. Four extra carriages on the 1715 London Bridge to London Victoria via Sydenham
3. Four extra carriages on the 1751 London Victoria to London Bridge via Crystal Palace
Len Duvall AM
Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham
|Posted on Thursday, 02 November, 2006 - 08:42 am: |
Good to see you recogonise the service SE23.com provides in keeping you informed. Reference to ELL trains being only 4 carriages was first made on this website in October 2004.
Instead of paying overrated consultants why not invest the authorities money wisely by obtaining the wisdom of local people. For some, all it needs is a couple of pints and a bag of crisps for others it would be a tapas.
Re staffing - I frequently travel out west on the District line and there are stations were the ticket offices are closed in the evening and ticket barriers are unmanned. Classical music is played through the PA system, but for some reason the film 'A Clockwork Orange' comes to mind.
As for ticketing I'm still unclear if a single ticket will be valid for both services, or is the plan to bring the train ticket prices in line with tube fares?
I don't know how the money from Oyster cards is or will be shared out between the various public transport providers but could Southern introduce its own Smart card to provide additional discounts for example; on train journeys to Gatwick or buying theatre tickets?
|Posted on Wednesday, 08 November, 2006 - 11:51 am: |
I have already raised the ticketing issue with Transport for London and am still awaiting a detailed response.
Re: staffing - Peter Hendy (London Transport Commissioner) is coming to answer questions from the London Assembly on Dec 6th - so I will raise this issue with him then.
I can't see Southern introducing its own Smart card, when TfL already have Oyster - but can make enquiries.
|Posted on Wednesday, 08 November, 2006 - 01:47 pm: |
With three years left on its contract Southern will not be introducing Smart Cards. The whole issue on Smart Cards, apart from the obvious commercial one of who pays for it, is that the DfT have issued standards for Smart Cards, ITSO. This was in anticipation of all the train and bus companies coming together and delivering smart cards for their customers. Trouble was that the only Smart Card up and running, Oyster, is not ITSO compliant since it was put in place before the DfT's ITSO decision. So does a TOC go for Oyter when it is not compliant with the standards set by the people who pay them money and award franchises?
The current thinking from DfT is I think that all future franchises have to be able to take Oyster as per recent South West Trains Franchise.
|Posted on Wednesday, 08 November, 2006 - 06:03 pm: |
Thanks, Len, for your help. I look forward to hearing more about forecasting.
Incidentally I was talking about the ELLX this morning to someone who was thinking of selling up a rental property in Forest Hill when she heard there may be less direct trains overall to central London. Regardless of the assets of Forest Hill,this is still the main reason people want to move and stay here.
I am also concerned about the North London line being a model for anything. This is well known as the worst line in the UK, and at the decrepit Kentish Town West station,near to where I work, you will be lucky to find any staff there at all.
|Posted on Friday, 10 November, 2006 - 08:32 am: |
Len et al
One thing occurred to me last night about the cut in services. From the information I have been able to obtain it is not the fact that the East London Line is opening that is triggering the reduction in service. The reason is the capacity constraints at London Bridge. So it would be POSSIBLE to keep all services running to London Bridge PLUS the new ELL services. However it seems that the transport planers, when doing their forecasts, have identified an opportunity to reduce services from forest hill into London Bridge and give that capacity to another service. But lets see what the forecasting states.
|Posted on Friday, 10 November, 2006 - 03:27 pm: |
With a Rail Utilisation Study being carried out between now and the end of spring 2007 to determine which routes are going to be cut, the one thing that is essential is that we start a campaign to ensure that sufficient pressure is put on the rail authorities to save our services. And that doesn't just mean asking a friendly councillor on Lewisham council to put in a good word for you - it means marshalling support from the local community, especially regular commuters.
We are facing a 42% cut in peak morning rush hour services to London Bridge. If this doesn't get the local travelling public excited, nothing will.
When, oh when is the Forest Hill Society going to act on this issue?
|Posted on Friday, 10 November, 2006 - 03:35 pm: |
|Posted on Friday, 10 November, 2006 - 04:34 pm: |
I suggest that you start the PR machine rolling.
Get reports in the South London Press.
Personally, I am very happy with the current service of 1 train every 10 minutes.
They have 4 trains per hour from Catford Bridge to London. But they often seem to be so close together that the service is really back to the old 1 train every half hour.
|Posted on Friday, 10 November, 2006 - 05:06 pm: |
I think you are being a bit harsh to FH Society. It was us who got somebody from TfL to come to Forest Hill at the end of September, at our first ever meeting just six weeks ago. On the specific issue of reduced services more work does need to be done, but this needs to be part of an overall view of rail transport to FH.
I would be interested to hear ideas of what way we should be marshalling support on this issue. Len mentioned that he is willing to sign your petition. Does one exist already? I would not want to put out a third petition on issues surrounding the ELL, far better to work together.
If you do have specific ideas that you want to discuss you are welcome to email me email@example.com but I would also encourage continued discussion on this forum.
The transport committee of Forest Hill Society will be meeting next week to discuss our strategy on all transportation issue.
|Posted on Saturday, 11 November, 2006 - 09:38 am: |
I think most people/commuters in Forest Hill, Honor Oak Park and Brockely,are still not aware of this issue - I was discussing this with a friend on the train in the other day ( see previous posting) and she certainly wasn't. Other people on the train were listening in with interest and someone asked me some questions as they were alarmed that their journey to work may become even harder in years to come.
I suggested they look at this site and join the FHS to obtain more information.
I do think a priority should be to disseminate (accurate) information to the general public by producing leaflets and posters, etc at least to raise this in everyones consciousness, which can be followed up at some point with a petition, perhaps with the assistance of the local press who normally love this sort of thing.
I don't think we should sit and wait for results of utilisation studies, or even perfect information, before taking any action. Most such studies tend to produce the results that the people who commission them want. Like Nasaroc, my gut feeling is still to get something organised now.
|Posted on Sunday, 12 November, 2006 - 01:16 pm: |
I'm not trying to tell the FH Society Transport Group what to do. They obviously need to meet next week and discuss the situation.
But broad plans might be as follows. We need to get together an action committee consisting of 3/4 people from each of the local amenity societies up and down the line - the FH Society, Brockley Soc, Syd Soc, Telegraph Hill etc. This committee needs to organise a campaign - leafletting stations, getting a petition together, committing local MPs and councillors to our campaign etc.
Once the campaign is underway, an article in the Newshoppper, South London Press and so on will be easy. These local groups with the support (hopefully) of our local politicians, can begin to get enough leverage on the powers that be to make sure that cuts in local services will be very difficult.
Currently, the local public are ignorant of cuts so these can be pushed through with the minimum of fuss. It's our job to make sure this doesn't happen.
Waiting for utilisation studies, will produce one outcome - cuts.
|Posted on Sunday, 12 November, 2006 - 08:01 pm: |
In respect of campaigning we need to give some consideration to the massage we send out and what we are ultimatley aiming to achieve. My fear is that if we are not fully backed up by the facts (are their recorded plans for cutting services, who makes the final decision, are their any facts in the tranport modelling that have been missed/ignored) then there is a danger we (including other civic socities) will miss our chance. I am very uncomfortable with the line "I don't care about the ELLX, I want to keep my current trains to London Bridge" and think it may not get us anywhere. Politicians and local press will have little sympathy for this approach I suspect. Rather a line that says "following the mayors forecasts for growth and the current 4 coach capcity constraints, overcrowding on this stretch of line will quickly return to the levels pre ELLX. A way of addressing this is to keep the current level of services to London Bridge until the ELLX is upgraded to 8 coaches" (we come up with another strap line when they do get round to putting in the 8 coaches which will be years away.)
Wholly agree that commuters need to be made aware but again we need to make sure of our facts, otherwise the credibility of FHS gets undermined straight away.
|Posted on Sunday, 12 November, 2006 - 08:57 pm: |
Mch -I greatly respect your obvious knowledge of transport planning and modelling. Of course we need to be clear about our facts and argue as our submission to the RUS and to local politicians the sort of well-worked out line you are pressing forward.
But you don't launch a campaign aimed at the travelling public by saying "do you support the current transport modelling of TFL for the ELL" or "don't you think that the mayor's forecast for transport growth will be overwhelmed by the predicted number of passengers using both the ELL and existing services". You say to the man and woman rushing for the 8.15 - "your existing services are going to be cut - do you want this to happen?". You also have to take this approach with the local press. They want a clear and simple message.
I think that you need to differentiate between what you present for public consumption (a simple straightforward message) and what you present to the "experts".
Do we know that there are plans to cut services? Yes we do. We have this in writing twice from both Southern and ELL. And if there were no plans to cut services it would clearly have been denied by now.
The medium and long-term aim of this campaign needs to be a fully worked-out and well-argued strategy which I am confident you can play a large part in preparing. The short-term aim needs to be getting locals aware of the situation and getting politicians behind our campaign.
|Posted on Monday, 13 November, 2006 - 11:16 am: |
Nasroc - Good point about the expert deabtes and the simple message for the travelling public. Has FHS got copies of the letter from Southern?
|Posted on Monday, 13 November, 2006 - 10:15 pm: |
Mch- Many thanks for your posts. Incidentally, any campaign we run should,in my view, steer well clear of the "ELL is rubbish" brigade.
Let those people who believe that the "ELL line is a line to nowhere" run their own campaign and try to argue this wholly absurd view.
We welcome the ELL and the extra dimension it will add to travel from this area. But we don't believe that it should be introduced, or will be workable, at the expense of our existing services.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 12:25 pm: |
Nasaroc, some sweeping statements here. Perhaps many on this site are looking forward to the ELL. Yet at the FSH meeting there was much antipathy. Are you disregarding all of this? What makes your judgement superior?? Is SE23.com the way of deciding what we want???
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 01:31 pm: |
No SE23 isn't going to decide anything. My pleas are directed towards the FHS with the hope that something happens in realtime, not cyberspace.
Campaigning to stop the ELL line arriving isn't a starter. Canute tried something similar to this some time ago and was wholly unsuccessful. Excluding a nuclear explosion in the next few years somewhere in the Whitechapel area, ELL trains will start arriving at FH station in 2010. Nor will a campaign saying the ELL is a line to nowhere (an obvious nonsense) get you anywhere.
I was at the FHS meeting. I heard no-one say that they wanted to campaign against the arrival of the ELL. I heard lots of people say that they didn't want to lose their existing services.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 01:32 pm: |
"Antipathy"? Baggydave, I'm not sure that there was antipathy at FHS. I thought there were a lot of questions particularly about the level of services to London Bridge and on the loop to Victoria. And these were good questions since TfL did not have the answers at the time. No-one stated that they did not want the ELLX at the meeting per se, although some people believed that the current service was preferable to the propossed post ELLX service.
On your other points, I think SE23 is one source of infomration about local feeling and Nasaroc is making his/her views known on this site about this subject.
What are your (and anyone else's for that matter) views on the ELLX, a good thing? If we could get the ELLX AND keep the current level of Southern Services would that be something desirable for Forest Hill?
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 02:38 pm: |
I believe Forest Hill is covered by the Genvea convention and is a exclusion zone when it comes to nuclear explosions.
End of Diversion...
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 03:11 pm: |
If we are to have a reduced service through Forest Hill to London Bridge, then this will mean more people boarding the fewer trains. This means that by the time trains call at Forest Hill there will be standing room only (as there currently is from Brockley onwards).
This is not good!
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 05:16 pm: |
Anyone want to bet that proposals to cut the number of services to London Bridge will be offset by increasing capacity on the remaining services?
It won't be too bad if it's the existing rolling stock, but has anyone seen the new carriages running on the Hayes line via Catford Bridge? They've substantially decreased the number of seats to increase standing capacity (which will also be the case for the ELLX trains).
This seems to be the way things are going - increase carriage capacity at the sake of passenger experience.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 06:12 pm: |
Blushingsnail - check the pictures out at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/image-galle ry/ scroll down and you will find the interior of the new trains, which indeed have more standing room than the current trains.
Jalapeno - Won't people jump on the first train through Forest Hill and change at Canada Water. That will be the quickest way to get to London Bridge.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 08:05 pm: |
Which is fine if you are getting off at London Bridge. For those going on to Wloo or ChX that's another change. Great!
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 08:17 pm: |
Sandy, Waterloo is ok with the tube station but agree CharingX not as good (and I suppose the same is true of those people going to Cannon Street and Blackfriars and beyond).
What I am hoping the FHS Transport Committee can get hold of is the information on journey's (where do peole go to who get on at Forest Hill) and then use this, if it is complelling, to lobby for the retention of services.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 November, 2006 - 08:58 pm: |
Minutes from the sustainability sub-committee from 5th October:
http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/councilanddemocracy/cou ncilmeetings/sustainabledevelopmentselectcommittee /meetings/sustainable%20development%20select%20com mittee%20-%2007%20november%202006.htm
3.8 A Member questioned the opportunities for interchanges offered by the East London Line, which would help regeneration , and asked how this can be brought about given that there is no direct connection to London Bridge from Sydenham and Forest Hill. In respect of New Cross Gate the Councillor asked if there are plans to improve the footbridge to enable better access of the interchange to London Bridge.
3.9 The Head of Transport highlighted the increase in travel opportunities which would be brought about by the proposed interchange at Whitechapel assuming Crossrail is built. The best access to the West End would be via Whitechapel. The Committee heard that there will still be services serving London Bridge from Sydenham and Forest Hill following introduction of the new East London Line services).
The biggest interchange advantage they could point to was Crossrail via Whitechapel. Crossrail will not be completed until 2013 (at the earliest). Once Crossrail is in place there is probably a case to be made for replacing trains to London Bridge with East London Line trains, subject to proper analysis of journey in 2010-2013. Until then it is very clear that not enough passengers go from the Forest Hill line to the Jubilee Line to make any significant improvements to our journey times, except to Canary Wharf.
Interchange at New Cross Gate is a joke as all the London Bridge trains will be full before they get there (up to 33% fuller than they are at present - if that were possible).
I don't think Network Rail / Southern Railways should take any rash decisions before 2013. The transportation needs of people on this line are too important to play about with.
But to reiterate what others have already said; East London Line is of benefit to Forest Hill, not just in 2010 but going forward, linking to Crossrail and potentially to other service in the decades to come, makes ELLX the right thing to do in addition to the current London Bridge services.
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 November, 2006 - 07:21 am: |
According to the News Shopper the Mayor of Lewisham is meeting Peter Hendy transport comissioner for TfL, and there's a chance to raise your issues...
http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/lewgreennews/dis play.var.1010365.0.send_questions_to_transport_bos s.php
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 November, 2006 - 12:31 pm: |
Michael - many thanks for your notes from the LBL sustainability sub-committee.
I was alarmed to read (is it your view or that of the committee?) that "once Crossrail is in place there is probably a case to be made for replacing trains to London Bridge with East London Line trains."
Could you run that past me again please?
Crossrail will enable passengers to change at Whitechapel and head west to destinations like Tottenham Court, Liverpool St etc. Admittedly, a very useful link. But how does that make cuts in direct trains to and from London Bridge suddenly OK?
I may have misunderstood the point you (or a councillor)is trying to make so please forgive me. But why should the introduction of Crossrail be any more justification for replacing our direct services to LB than the introduction of the ELL?
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 November, 2006 - 12:34 pm: |
The destination of London Bridge sounds very essential to me.
From there I can get a train to Waterloo or Charing Cross.
Or I can walk to most locations in the City.
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 November, 2006 - 01:35 pm: |
I agree with Sherwood, LB is much more conveniant than Whitechapel. I would guess the majority of commuters work in the City and an expansion to Whitechapel would be no use at all for those people.
Its quite a walk back eastwards from Whitechapel, and not very pleasant either.
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 November, 2006 - 02:18 pm: |
I think Crossrail will be useful for people heading to the city (Liverpool Street and Farringdon), the West End (Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road), Paddington, Heathrow, and France (via Stratford). This includes a significant number of destinations and interchange opportunities.
I am not saying that London Bridge will no longer be of any use, but there *may* be a reduction in passangers using the LB service once Crossrail is in place. This case cannot be made before Crossrail gets funding and undermines any justification for a 33% reduction in services to central London (LB) prior to 2013. Beyond 2013 I still have an open mind (I hope that is allowed).
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 November, 2006 - 10:45 pm: |
What attempt is going to be made to find out what local people want of their train routes and services? From my position all I can see is a reduction in the proposed service on my most oft used train route - HOP to LB. I realise this may be a minority view but I don't know.
|Posted on Thursday, 16 November, 2006 - 10:19 am: |
Sandy - I think that you probably hold a majority rather than a minority view.
It may seem amazing but I don't know of any detailed analysis by TFL, Network Rail or Southern Rail to calculate future travel journeys once the ELL arrives. If someone can unearth such analysis, let's see it.
Surely, this analysis could be part of any campaign against cuts in services (should, naturally, the FHS transport group have a meeting and decide to run such a campaign).
If, say 500 regular commuters at FH were asked their end destination and this was to be "scored" according to whether they would in future be likely to use the ELL or the direct LB line, we would have a rough analysis of future use, particulartly if other groups did this at all the other stations up and down the line.
If anything approaching 50% would still use the direct LB line then we have reasonable evidence that the cuts are unwanted.
|Posted on Thursday, 16 November, 2006 - 11:22 am: |
As a cyclist who uses the trains fairly infrequently I probably shouldn't be contributing but here's my ha'peth - why don't one of you test it out by travelling to work for one week by your usual route and the following week by changing at NXG and getting ELL to, say, Shoreditch or Wapping (DLR at Wapping) if you work in the City or change at Canada Water if you need to get the Jubileee line west?
I know that it won't be completely accurate since the ELL service will presumably be more frequent in the future than it is now but at least that way you can stand up and say "I've done it - these are the differences in how long it takes/this is how much more convenient or unconveneient etc.
|Posted on Friday, 17 November, 2006 - 01:57 pm: |
Okay, this is where I come in as I have tried both!
I sometimes travel from FH to NXG at 8.21am, changing to catch the 8.36 ELL from NXG (they are synchronised). I then travel up to Shadwell which takes 10 mins and walk into the city which takes 10 mins (though do only work on the fringes, Leman Street) So I arrive at my desk pretty much bang on 9am
There is no DLR at Wapping. DLR is at Shadwell so you could take that into Tower Hill or Bank but the connection is poor as you have to walk up 54 stairs to ground level to change for DLR.
Best bet for most would be to Whitechapel and take the Hammersmith & City which connects to Liverpool street and Moorgate (phew!)
So there you go, lots of changing, or lots of walking.
London Bridge 8.21 train arrives at 8.37 but I have a 20 min walk from there.
Conclusion: its about the same, but depends on where you work exactly.
|Posted on Friday, 17 November, 2006 - 02:31 pm: |
Whats FH and NWG? Is this the same as TTFO??
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 November, 2006 - 04:54 pm: |
A letter in this week's News Shopper asks our local MP's to sign an EDM in the House of Commons regarding the extension of the ELL. Part of the letter is as follows...
"It acknowledges it will have a dramatic effect on rail services in Lewisham and other south London boroughs.
And it makes an innocuous call for services on the line to remain in public ownership when it reopens after the extension work."
http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/haveyoursay/lett ers/display.var.1032952.0.train_motion_must_be_sig ned_by_mps.php
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 November, 2006 - 05:41 pm: |
Ticketing – I have been told by Transport for London that there will be no difference in price, fares will be the same whichever service is used.
At a meeting on Friday, where Forest Hill Society were represented, we were told that both TfL and Network Rail are doing modelling on passenger travel patterns. I have requested more information on this.
TfL have not taken over the North London Line yet – their concession starts in November 2007 - when we should see higher standards, such as more staff at stations; Oyster ticketing at all stations and more ticket gates to improve security and reduce fare evasion; a phased programme of station upgrades, delivering more help points, CCTV, better lighting and customer information systems etc.
Reduction to services - TfL say "whilst initial studies by TfL indicate a possible reduction by 2 trains per hour to London Bridge, these are actually Network Rail services and they are the appropriate body to contact on this matter. Network Rail are currently undertaking the Southern Route Utilisation Strategy, looking at service provision in the area as a while."
At the meeting on Friday there was a real commitment not to cut services - it is too premature to say there will actually be a 2 train reduction. TfL said that we are about 2 months away from a decision on the London Bridge trains.
I am lobbying TfL on the importance of providing accurate information to the public.
Len Duvall AM
Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 November, 2006 - 05:41 pm: |
Sorry, yes, meant Shadwell for DLR. I agree the changes are probabaly a bit of a faff and if the Shadwell interchange isn't much cop then that adds a further nuisance factor.
Baggydave - FH = Forest Hill and NXG = New Cross Gate!
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 November, 2006 - 06:59 pm: |
Loneranger, not sure I agree with the writers notion that the rail services must be run by the public sector. I accept their point that the Privitisation of British Rail was a disaster but there are models of privitisation that work, e.g. DLR. Here the service level is stipulated in the contracts. And in time DfT are getting better at stipulating services in National Rail concessions. As I understand it TfL will have a short term operating contract with the private sector to run their overground train services.
|Posted on Wednesday, 22 November, 2006 - 11:53 am: |
At the Forest Hill Society transport committee meeting it was agreed that the Society would oppose any reduction in services to London Bridge. Although the connections to the Jubilee line will clearly be improved with the East London Line trains, there are no other significant benefits for passengers on the Forest Hill line.
The 33% reduction in services to London Bridge will result in a reduced level of service for most passengers, with more crowded trains and increased congestion at New Cross Gate and Canada Water, where passengers will need to change if they have any hope of getting on trains at Forest Hill.
We will be making these views, as well as more detailed submissions, known to all the parties that are involved in considering canceling London Bridge trains or can bring influence to the decision making process. I believe we reflect the views of the vast majority of commuters in and around Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park as well as the views expressed on this forum.
I would like to thank Len for his work on transport issues and keeping us informed on this forum. I hope you will be able to support our view that a reduced service to London Bridge will have a detrimental affect on rail users on this line.
|Posted on Wednesday, 22 November, 2006 - 02:30 pm: |
Equally, I fear that the Rail Utilisation Strategy may take the view that we will be "spoiled" in relation to train provision in comparison to other South London lines and we will be therefore be a target for service reductions, in order that scarce train paths into London Bridge can be re-allocated to routes with apparent greater need. It is appropriate the Society and those of adjoining areas oppose service cuts that leave us no better off, and try to ensure that any changes to service patterns are at least supported by a thorough study of passenger needs.
|Posted on Thursday, 23 November, 2006 - 02:41 pm: |
We can't afford to lose 33 percent of existing services when London's population is projected to increase by 700,000 by 2016.
Users of the Jubilee line will already know it struggles to cope during peak periods so there has to be a viable range of transport options available to us.
This came from the Mayor's own office and he said at the time that "Without an adequate policy response it will inevitably put pressure on housing, the environment, transport infrastructure and other public services already under pressure."
|Posted on Saturday, 25 November, 2006 - 05:32 pm: |
I joined Pat Trembath and Barry Milton from the Sydenham Society last night to meet with Jim Dowd MP to discuss the potential cuts in services to London Bridge. We had a very positive meeting and were able to explain our concerns to him regarding the proposal to reduce services from Sydenham and Forest Hill to London Bridge by 33%.
Jim will be meeting with TfL and the Secretary of State for Transport over the next week so our timing in meeting him was fortuitous. We hope that he will make the views of our societies and our members known to those making the decisions regarding services to London Bridge.
|Posted on Saturday, 25 November, 2006 - 08:58 pm: |
We can write to him expressing our concerns.
His address is:
Jim Dowd, MP
The House of Commons
|Posted on Monday, 04 December, 2006 - 11:40 am: |
Michael - yes, I very much support your view that a reduced service to London Bridge will have a detrimental affect on rail users on this line.
I will continue to get information on this issue and will let you know as soon as I have any news.
Assembly Member for Greenwich & Lewisham
|Posted on Wednesday, 06 December, 2006 - 08:40 am: |
The Forest Hill and Sydenham Societies have launched a campaign opposing any reduction in rail services to London Bridge in 2010.
Details of our campaign can be found at: http://foresthillsociety.blogspot.com/2006/12/save -our-train-service.html
1) An online petition at http://fhpetition.notlong.com
2) A sample letter to Jim Dowd http://samplet.notlong.com
3) A survey of rail use from Forest Hill, Honor Oak Park and other stations on the line, at http://fhsurvey.notlong.com
We will also be handing out leaflets at local stations over the next couple of weeks.
I hope you will support our campaign in as many ways as you can.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 December, 2006 - 01:10 pm: |
May I suggest that you insert Jim Dowd's address in the draft letter?
Jim Dowd, MP
The House of Commons
|Posted on Thursday, 07 December, 2006 - 01:53 pm: |
Thanks Sherwood. I have added it to a new version at http://sampletter.notlong.com
We handed out 1,000 leaflets this morning at Forest Hill station and another 400 at Honor Oak Park. More leaflets will be handed out next week.
|Posted on Monday, 11 December, 2006 - 10:18 am: |
It has been pointed out that some people who live to the North and East of Honor Oak Park station live in Joan Ruddock's constituency (although still part of SE23). If Joan Ruddock is your MP you should write to her, rather than Jim Dowd. A sample letter with contact details can be found at
If you are not sure who your MP is you can find out at: http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/l/
Everybody can sign the on-line petition at http://fhpetition.notlong.com .We have 280 signatures so far!
|Posted on Thursday, 14 December, 2006 - 12:14 pm: |
Anyone who believes that there is some sort of overall co-ordination when planning our local rail services should think again.
At the LBL Transport Liaison meeting on Tuesday the following answer was given when the question was raised of cuts to existing services when the ELL arrives:
"Network Rail and TfL are developing a proof of concept timetable, which will determine what effect the proposed 8 additional East London Line trains in the peak and throughout the day will have on the existing timetable".
In other words, the ELL was given the go-ahead two years ago, hundreds of millions of pounds has been committed to building work and rolling stock and no-one has yet thought to discover what effect the running of ELL line trains will have on the viability of our line.
ELL PR people will tell you openly that by their calculations, they expect cuts in services to LB once the ELL line arrives. Now all the others are running around trying to figure out what they should surely have discovered long before or at the time when the ELL line was given the go-ahead.
Whatever this is, it isn't planning. Planning means working ahead before you proceed with something.
Think about it - our future rail services depend on this type of amateur bungling!
|Posted on Thursday, 14 December, 2006 - 12:25 pm: |
I think you make the mistake of assuming that it is us the ELL is primarily intended to benefit, rather than creating the opportunity to relieve pressure on London Bridge, take steps towards an orbital route, regenerate inner northeast London etc.
The ELL has clearly been viewed as A Good Thing to which a study of the effects on the travel experience of SE4/23/26 residents can, frankly, take a back seat.
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 09:57 am: |
Hansard reports a question asked by Jim Dowd and answered by Tom Harris, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport.
"Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect on the Network Rail services into London Bridge of the extension of the East London Line in 2010. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department has worked closely with the East London Line (ELL) project team and with Network Rail to ensure that it will be possible to deliver satisfactory levels of service from south London to both London Bridge and to ELL destinations when ELL commences operations.
The direct journey opportunities offered by the extended ELL services are expected to enable significant numbers of passengers to avoid the need to travel from south to east London via London Bridge, thus easing congestion at that busy station.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/ cmhansrd/cm061213/text/61213w0002.htm#061213860000 06
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 10:16 am: |
So far your responses to our survey of travel by train passengers suggests that less than 4% of passenger travel to Canary Wharf and East London.
While many Jubilee Line users may benefit from increased interchange opportunities at London Bridge, but most passengers will continue to use the services to London Bridge.
Satisfactory levels of service to London Bridge cannot mean a reduction in services from Forest Hill to London Bridge.
We now have over 100 responses to our Survey http://fhsurvey.notlong.com but we are waiting for more responses before we draw any conclusions.
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 11:29 am: |
How many signatures has the petition got? What is your target (beyond the obvious "as many as possible")?
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 11:51 am: |
I had a look today and it was up to around 400. Pretty good, and well done FHS for getting it rolling, but you get the impression we'll need a lot more than that.
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 01:01 pm: |
Sydenham Society have collected an additional hundred signatures on a paper petition, taking our combined total to over 500. This is a really good response in just 2 weeks. But I hope that people encourage their neighbours and family to sign the petition as well.
The petition alone is unlikely to change anything (however many signatures we collect) but it is part of a coordinated campaign to make sure that politicians and train companies are aware of the concerns of local residents. The fact that questions are being asked in parliament shows that our message is getting through.
By signing the petition (http://fhpetition.notlong.com) and writing to your MP (http://sampletter.notlong.com) you can demonstrate that you support the campaign. This makes it easier for us to campaign on this issue and shows that we represent the opinions of passengers using the local railway stations.
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 01:09 pm: |
Jim Dowd's parliamentary question posted by Michael above should fill every local commuter with dismay. This is a question which would never have been asked were it not for the pressure of the campaign currently being run.
The answer from the Department of Transport as to how the ELL will affect current services?
It surely wouldn't be unfair to sum this up as follows - "We haven't got a clue".
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 01:15 pm: |
Jim Dowd's question posted by Michael above should fill every local commuter with dismay. This is a question which would never have been asked were it not for the pressure of the campaign currently being run.
The answer from the Department of Transport as to how the ELL will affect current services?
It surely wouldn't be unfair to sum this up as follows - "We haven't got a clue".
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 01:20 pm: |
Just to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment. I’ll be one of the people who will be taking advantage of the extension to commute up to Shoreditch every day. I reckon I’ll probably save about 15 mins each way and avoid London Bridge to boot.
How many others out there are in the same boat?
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 01:20 pm: |
I have already written to Jim Dowd and received a reply.
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 01:47 pm: |
I will benefit from a direct route to the east of the city, I assume the new shoreditch station will be built on the disused site opposite Drunken Monkey? If so, should be excellent for a lot of workers in the liverpool street area of the city as its 2 minute walk.
That would mean not having to: change at NXG for current ELL then changing at whitechapel, change at London bridge for Northern Line up to Moorgate or catch the silly bendy bus from London Bridge.
Should reduce my travel time by 15 mins also as would be a virtually direct service to the city (allbeit eastern fringe).
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 02:41 pm: |
Yes, just up from Drunken Monkey. The location of the new station at Shoreditch can be found here
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 03:19 pm: |
The preliminary survey results I have do suggest that some people will benefit from the ELL service, but these are a small number compared to the people who will continue to use London Bridge.
I don't think anybody would sensibly oppose the ELL extension but it should not be at the expense of existing services. The proposed reduction in services is not to add the ELL services but to relieve congestion at London Bridge. The problem with this is that the majority of local commuters will still wish to travel via London Bridge and a 15 minute service is not good enough.
|Posted on Friday, 15 December, 2006 - 04:03 pm: |
There is no guarantee that 4 trains an hour will run at 15 minute intervals.
Also if most people continue to London Bridge, there will be more people on the remaining 4 trains per hour.
|Posted on Tuesday, 16 January, 2007 - 11:08 pm: |
There is an article in the Lewisham Mercury today about the campaign to keep existing train services to London Bridge.
You can read the article at:
http://icsouthlondon.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200 southlondonheadlines/tm_headline=more-than-700-com muters-sign-crowded-train-petition&method=full&obj ectid=18485531&siteid=50100-name_page.html
|Posted on Wednesday, 31 January, 2007 - 11:45 am: |
In response to the above article there is a letter in todays Mercury from Ian Brown, MD London Rail, Transport for London.
He starts by saying fears about future capacity are unfounded and a public consultation on the future needs of South London rail routes will take place in the summer.
Makes no reference to reduced services directly to London Bridge. Points out 8 trains an hour will operate to the north of the Thames. Journeys to Canary Wharf will improve with access to Canary Wharf via the Jubilee Line at Canada Water. Which will ease crowding at London Bridge.
|Posted on Wednesday, 31 January, 2007 - 01:18 pm: |
I do love obfuscation and unfounded assertion
|Posted on Wednesday, 31 January, 2007 - 02:07 pm: |
and long words
|Posted on Wednesday, 31 January, 2007 - 04:05 pm: |
Hmm, shorter than writing "saying other things to distract people's attention and keep things unclear, and making claims without any studies to back them up" though, isn't it?
I apologise for confusing you
|Posted on Wednesday, 31 January, 2007 - 04:12 pm: |
Sorry, couldn't resist it.
|Posted on Wednesday, 31 January, 2007 - 04:31 pm: |
Quite a confibulation.
|Posted on Wednesday, 31 January, 2007 - 11:40 pm: |
Rather than posting a rather long summary of the latest discussions on the cuts to trains to London Bridge, may I direct you to http://www.foresthillsociety.com/2007/01/area-foru m-last-night-tfl-this.html
|Posted on Friday, 16 February, 2007 - 10:12 pm: |
Just had a shiny leaflet from TFL about the East London Railway. It's maybe a small point, but the picture of the propose rail carriage seems to have hardly anywhere for anyone to hang onto if they're standing up - it's tricky keeping your balance sometimes on the current rail carriages. I hope the designers have factored this in.
|Posted on Thursday, 08 March, 2007 - 12:05 pm: |
Sydenham Society Public Meeting - Wednesday 14th March:
THE EAST LONDON RAILWAY HOW WILL THE NEW LINE AFFECT ME?
Peter Field, Director of London Rail Development (the man in charge of ELR) will explain the new line and answer your questions.
Naborhood Centre (next to the post office), Sydenham Road, Wednesday 14th March 7.30pm
Organised by the Sydenham Society & supported by the London Borough of Lewisham.
I have been asked to speak at the meeting on the findings of the Forest Hill Society survey and petition.
|Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 04:51 pm: |
Trains to Forest Hill got their own adjournment debate today in parliament, thanks to Jim Dowd. Details of the debate and links can be found on the Forest Hill Society website:
|Posted on Friday, 09 March, 2007 - 09:42 pm: |
Nice one Jim!
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 March, 2007 - 12:05 pm: |
It's great that Jim Dowd spoke at length about the situation and interesting to hear the informed historical context - now, a Bakerloo Line extension to Forest Hill, Catford and Bromley - that would really have been something!
So, he does express our concerns about a reduced LB service...
BUT he also clearly implies that he would be equally happy travelling from Forest Hill to Westminster via Canada Water or London Bridge. He has even (bizarrely) checked with London Rail that "the cost would be the same for either journey, so that will be of benefit to people travelling from my constituency and around London more generally." Why would it not be the same cost?
Although he stresses that we want to maintain our eight trains into LB, there is also a suggestion that we will actually only need this until the ELL is in place and we get used to the idea:
"...it would be far preferable for the East London line frequency to be reduced, at least initially. I fully understand that people’s travel patterns may change when they have different choices, but, at the outset, the travel patterns that we have in our part of the world are set and people will not welcome a reduction in those services to facilitate a new service that, as yet, is of no direct benefit to them."
Gillian Merron says several times that there will just be six LB services per hour (all starting from the Croydon area - which implies that the Victoria loop will go) although when Jim queries this definitive statement, she says that the final timetable has not been decided.
She also explains rather ineloquently "...that change does mean that, and that does means change"
The only vaguely positive outcome of this exchange is that we're assured nothing has been decided - although there are strong overtones that any decisions will have only nominal reference to our concerns.
|Posted on Tuesday, 13 March, 2007 - 01:37 pm: |
The other positive outcome is that the minister was clearly well briefed. This means that senior civil servants and the minister in the DfT are very aware of our concerns. When it comes to funding decisions in the DfT they will be aware of the issues on our railway. They clearly gathered much of their information from Network Rail and TfL, which means senior people in these organisations are aware that the minister is taking a keen interest in this matter.
Within the civil service and public bodies Parliamentary questions are generally regarded as the most important priority to work on, a whole adjournment debate on a specific issue means they have to take it extremely seriously. This type of pressure on the transport authorities is key to getting the best result for commuters in Forest Hill. It certainly does not guarantee any outcome, but it demonstrates that our campaign is about as high profile as we could wish within the transport authorities.
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 09:24 am: |
10% increase in the number of carriages on trains by 2014. Unfortunately just last year there was a 10% increase in the number of passengers so 10% more carriages will not make much of a difference.
It does mean that our services are very likely to get more carriages by 2014 possibly 10 or even 12 carriages at peak times, but probably not by 2010 when we really need them if the timetable cuts services from FH to London Bridge.
A quick reminder of this evening's meeting at 7:30pm on Sydenham Road.
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 10:22 am: |
Number of carriages they are able to use is limited by the platform length, many of which are unlikely to be able to be extended (see issues on ELL).
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 01:56 pm: |
Domc - Just to make things clear. Michael is referring to the LB-bound line where the platforms CAN be lengthened and longer trains can be accommodated. The ELL cannot, as you point out, have any trains longer than 4 carriages - unless huge amounts of money is spent rebuilding many of the stations.
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 02:36 pm: |
"I relish even less the prospect of having to change trains at Canada Water which is desolate, out of the way, and if you happen to get stuck there, how is one to get home to Forest Hill.? Where is the back up network of buses?" - Roz 10/10/06
Absolutely. You have options at London Bridge.
When the Forest Hill service has ground to a halt, you can get trains to Catford Bridge, then walk or get a bus; you can get a fast train to Norwood junction then a bus or train back. There are night buses and a good supply of taxis.
If when returning from London, you travel via Canada Water, you really would be putting all your eggs in one basket. Its not a case of getting used to a new route. Having a backup plan is essential in any undertaking.
It would be different if the trains from London Bridge were just taking a different route - say if this new service was a spur off the jubilee line. This would be more than acceptable.
Experienced passengers, when doing their risk assessment, know that changing trains esp onto a different service is a major weak point in their journey.
It needs to be made absolutely clear that the new service is in addition to the current service. If in the future, the London Bridge trains are running empty, then that is the time to reassess that service. If the ELL provides a more reliable route, is quicker, more comfortable, and convenient then passengers will soon vote with their feet.
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 02:51 pm: |
If passengers have increased by 10% in one year, it is unlikely that the London Bridge trains will not be required when the ELL comes into operation.
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 07:08 pm: |
Interesting point Jim made about the main line Southern trains will all start in Croydon - I wonder how many seats that will free.
I note in the peak that the only ones running with free seats from FH are the ones starting from Streatham Hill, which will be lost if we go to six trains an hour. The Caterham trains are typically full.
On a related topic - it really gets my goat that Southern has the cheek to run 2-car trains outside the peak, meaning they get to fulfil their timetable commitment but you still get to stand at 10.30am, just like peak hours.
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 10:29 pm: |
Well, it's efficient, isn't it
|Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2007 - 11:51 pm: |
Taking a dark view, I can foresee the knee-jerk shock horror reaction when one of these packed trains derails and many people lose their lives.
I feel it will take an incident like this for over-crowding to be taken seriously in the same way that Hillsborough changed the terraces and Kings X changed LU attitude to fire safety.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 March, 2007 - 01:45 am: |
OK Sherwood. Thanks for pointing out that I was not perfectly clear myself.
We need to be reassured that the new ELL service will be in addition to the current London Bridge service; the London Bridge service remaining at its current fully functional level of service as a minimum.
There has to be just the one main service to and from London: splitting the overall service to two different London destinations is fine going into town, but coming back, you would need to choose which half-service to use.
Its like travelling to Croydon now: pretty good service going there via East or West Croydon, but double the wait coming back. Not good.
If the ELL was just an alternative route around and indirectly into London, then this really would be a change for the better. More options are never a bad thing.
We deserve it.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 March, 2007 - 07:53 am: |
Whilst I appreciate all the comments surely it is not logistically possible to have all current trains plus the new ELL.
The signals and track could not cope.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 March, 2007 - 08:24 am: |
The short answer is that both signals and track could cope.
There is congestion between Norwood and Croydon but that could be avoided by starting the trains at the Selhurst depot, continuing them to Crystal Palace or even all the way to Victoria.
There is also congestion around London Bridge but the East London Line does not change this, so why should we lose our services so that people in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex can get fast trains to London? TfL and the Mayor must make sure that when they introduce ELL it does not negatively impact South Londoners existing services just to please non-Londoners.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 March, 2007 - 08:48 am: |
Sorry if I had my facts wrong ( would not be the first time ).
I agree people living outside the GLC ( or whatever modern equivalent is called ) should take second fiddle to us Londoners .
You have no argument there.
Should not employers in London have to prove they cannot employ a London person before giving employment to someone in Brighton , Bedford , Basingstoke or Basildon.
|Posted on Thursday, 15 March, 2007 - 10:49 pm: |
If 'our' 8 trains an hour are reduced to six with the possibility of a new regime, maybe just a couple each hour of the shiny trains that whizz past could stop for us instead.
And (to make up for all the uncertainty we've had to suffer) perhaps our trains could continue on to Charing Cross all day too!
|Posted on Monday, 19 March, 2007 - 11:51 am: |
Minutes from last week's Sydenham Society public meeting are available at http://www.sydenham.org.uk/news_ellx_01.html
|Posted on Monday, 19 March, 2007 - 12:54 pm: |
The shiny trains' passengers may want to stop somewhere along the route to New Cross Gate in order to change for the East London Line.
|Posted on Monday, 19 March, 2007 - 07:48 pm: |
For the record, then:
On 9 March, Gillian Merron stated in Parliament that the reduction to six trains was not decided and that Jim Dowd's representation of our views would be taken into consideration.... "we will seriously consider the concerns of his constituents as we take forward the development.."
On 14 March, Peter Field states that "Network Rail do intend to reduce the number of services going in to central London from 8 to 6"
|Posted on Tuesday, 20 March, 2007 - 11:59 am: |
I suspect that the reduction is inevitable as there will be more trains overall from Forest Hill. I have observed that a significant number of passengers get off at New Cross Gate and transfer to the ELL. Presumably they will travel all the way by the new ELL trains in future.
But they do intend to lengthen trains to 10 carriages. Can the mathemeticians tell us how this will affect passenger capacity, please?
|Posted on Thursday, 07 June, 2007 - 11:56 am: |
I have just noticed this:
"Transport for London will close the East London Line on 22 December 2007 until summer 2010 so that major building work for a new railway service can begin."
I did not realise the East London Line will close for 3 years.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 June, 2007 - 01:00 pm: |
Yes - I believe it has been discussed above and elsewhere. Given the lack of alternatives for a lot of people (partly due to the wild unpredictability of buses) I think it means that the last stage of the journey to London Bridge from the end of the year will be slightly more cramped and crowded than currently - not only will there be a lot fewer people alighting at New X Gate, but there will be a lot of people joining the train there who might otherwise be using the ELL.
On the plus side, at some stage during the closure we may have longer Southern trains within which these extra passengers can be distributed.
|Posted on Thursday, 07 June, 2007 - 04:08 pm: |
I have noticed that a lot of people get off at New Cross Gate and change to the ELL.
|Posted on Friday, 08 June, 2007 - 11:48 am: |
The problem with all our new tube lines is none of them go into central london - normally if you get on your local tube you end up somewhere central.
The East London line is fine if you want to go to the East End, but most traffic needs to go into cetnral, not east london.
The holy grail for me would be an extension of the Bakerloo line out of Elephant donw through peckham and toward us here in SE23!
|Posted on Friday, 08 June, 2007 - 12:09 pm: |
I think there was a plan to extend the Bakerloo line from the Elephant & Castle through Camberwell Green to Forest Hill.
|Posted on Friday, 08 June, 2007 - 12:23 pm: |
Lillam, the holy grail exists. It's called the number 176 bus.
|Posted on Friday, 08 June, 2007 - 02:08 pm: |
As I understand it. The reason for a distinct lack of underground services south of the river, is due to the type of soil. Apparently it has more, or less, of something or other, to whatever is found north of the river. If this is wrong then someones been pulling my tonger.
|Posted on Friday, 08 June, 2007 - 03:18 pm: |
I believe Jim Dowd, MP referred to this myth when he spoke about the ELL extension and called it a lie.
I presume railway companies found tunnelling north of the river more profitable.
|Posted on Friday, 08 June, 2007 - 04:53 pm: |
Why dig a tunnel when you can just lay tracks ON the ground? Tunnelling was/is expensive so presumably only done as a last option, ie when there were too many buildings in the way. Parts of London only became built up relatively recently, so when the lines were originally built there would have been plenty of space to lay overland tracks and no need for tunnels.
As for extending the Bakerloo Line, Darian Green (Head of Transport at Lewisham) thinks it would be viable to extend it to Lewisham and down to Catford and Hayes on the existing Hayes line.
|Posted on Friday, 08 June, 2007 - 09:02 pm: |
The "Tube" does not need to be underground. I think the main feature of the underground is the frequency of trains. If the Bakerloo line is extended to Lewisham and Catford, Forest Hill will lose out. I think the Hayes line is under utilised.
Barry Quirk, Lewisham's Chief Executive thinks that Downham is missing out on good transport links.
I think I need to look at a map to see which route would be possible/desirable.
|Posted on Monday, 11 June, 2007 - 09:23 am: |
I think this was a project which was shelved by WWII, and has never quite seen the light of dat since. From somewhere I also recall hearing the latest thinking IF this project were to go ahead would be via Lewisham as there is sufficient overground capacity on the existing tracks.
|Posted on Monday, 11 June, 2007 - 11:03 am: |
Do you know how the underground will connect with the overground tracks?
I understand that the tunnel to Camberwell Green already exists, but is used as a siding.
|Posted on Thursday, 14 June, 2007 - 10:59 pm: |
Very confused - had to write about this at work today, clearly what was the overground rail network now has to be called the Mainline Rail network, now that Ken has invented the 'London Overground' (upper case)and stolen the use of the name. But he also referred to overground only a year ago as being the old BR services. And there is part of TfL called London Rail, not that they have any responsibility for providing rail services as this is for the train operating companies, and Network rail. Must have been far easier when it was British Rail, London Transport etc.
Well at least they have tried to do something with what is the North London Line, to become London Overground in November. Always thought it was pretty pointless, particularly as it did not serve anywhere useful like here (oh and of course it will in future). Even those unfortunate enough to live in North London told me that. Now if we look South (rather than obsess about going into and around Central London) we can have nice days out in the South Coast, or the Surrey countryside. Now that is useful.