The recommendation from the South London RUS – for further investigation around off-peak services to Charing Cross - was done in the context of the new Southeastern timetable for December 2009 (incorporating the high speed service) and the new South Central franchise.
During the development of the Southeastern December timetable it was identified that in order to make it workable there would be significant limitations on the ‘through London Bridge’ pathways available for other TOCs. There are implications for the First Capital Connect service particularly in the peak at London Bridge, and for Southern off peak services to Charing Cross and Waterloo East.
As a result, the Department for Transport did not specify that South Central franchise services should operate through to Charing Cross from December 2009. Subsequent scrutiny of the off peak timetable by Southern has confirmed that it is not possible to run Southern services through London Bridge into Charing Cross given Southeastern’s timetable specification from December.
As you know we use our passenger loading equipment to help specify how many carriages should go on each train and if carriages should be moved to better cover passenger demand. This we did during the current franchise deploying additional carriages to the Sydenham line in the morning peaks for example. We will continue to do this as normal but in general terms there is no reason for us to reduce the number of carriages on this route simply because the service will start and finish at London Bridge rather than Charing Cross.
31 July 2009
Response from Southern Railway
Below is the response from Southern Railway to the letter concerning trains to Charing Cross: