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17 March 2007

Transport Update

It has been a busy few months for the Transport Sub-Committee with the East London Line Extension at the top of the agenda. But road transport isn't far behind on our list of concerns.

ELL/London Overground
It has not been easy pinning down the facts! What we do know is that there will be 8 x 4-coach trains per hour in both directions, passing through Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park on their way to / from Dalston Junction and Crystal Palace / West Croydon. These trains will be similar to Suburban Rail stock but will have fewer seats so that more passengers can be carried during the Morning and Evening rush hours. The station at Canada Water will become a major interchange for passengers travelling to Canary Wharf. There is also an Interchange with Docklands Light Railway at Shadwell.

We also know that the current East London line will close on 23 December 2007 for rebuilding and upgrading.

But the big issue for us is that we believe that Southern trains to/from London Bridge station will be cut. We do not know by how many, but from conversations with Transport for London and documents available deep inside the Network Rail web site, we believe that the cuts will be by 2 or 3 trains per hour in the morning and evening rush hours as well as all day long.

A lot of lobbying has gone on. Len Duvall, London Assembly Member, Jim Dowd MP and Joan Ruddock MP are all well briefed as the result of much communication from us. At first, we were not certain they believed the facts and figures we were presenting them with. But we were able to prove that all our information came from reliable sources, using the Freedom of Information Act as well as thorough research of available public domain information.

We have also raised public awareness by distributing 2,500 leaflets at Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill stations in the run-up to Christmas, urging people to sign our online petition to Save our Train Service. More than 800 of you signed (thank you!) and we presented the petition to Transport for London at the end of January.

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