Commuters have less than a week to speak out about plans to axe the ‘Wimbledon Loop’ rail service from South London to St Pancras
Commuters have less than a week to speak out about plans to axe the ‘Wimbledon Loop’ rail service from south London to St Pancras.
The Department for Transport (DfT) are conducting a public consultation into plans to merge three existing rail services into one.
Part of the consultation concerns Network Rail’s plan to discontinue the Thameslink service which goes through Wimbledon Chase, Streatham and Tulse Hill stations.
Under the proposal, the service would terminate in Blackfriars from 2015.
There would no longer be a direct rail link through London, and commuters would have to change to continue their journeys.
The campaign to prevent the closure of the service – endorsed by the Liberal Democrats – has already successfully extended the consultation period. It was originally set to end on August 23, but has been extended till 5pm on Friday, September 14.
Streatham MP, Chuka Umunna, has urged commuters to act together to retain the links between Streatham, the City, and north London, arguing that the line is important for the local economy and job prospects for residents.
Lambeth Liberal Democrat transport councillor, Alex Davies, has also spoken out against the plans.
“Assurances that the change at Blackfriars may be ‘easy’ simply don’t wash, particularly with those who have mobility difficulties or who have to pilot push chairs on and off the train,” he said.
The merger was originally recommended by Sir Roy McNulty in a report for the DfT as a way of making the rail industry more efficient.
The DfT spokesman said the plan is the most cost-effective way of running the lines, and will help them achieve their goal of moving away from above inflation rail fares. Under the plans, London Bridge station will be rebuilt and passengers will benefit from the introduction of new trains.
Anyone wishing to respond to the consultation can find additional information and contact details at: www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-23/
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