Council asks why trains are getting slower

Southeastern train SUS-150207-160832001
Southeastern train SUS-150207-160832001
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Hastings Borough Council has written to train operator Southeastern to express its disappointment that trains between London and the town are to get even slower.

Southeastern is currently consulting on its August, 2016, timetable, which sees London Bridge reopening to trains going to and from Charing Cross, with hourly off-peak fast trains and some rush hour services, likely to get slower.

Council spokesman Kevin Boorman said : “We are disappointed to see the ‘fast’ journeys are to be even less fast, with an extra minute being added to the standard off-peak times.

“Some of us who can remember the pre-1986 diesels with their 75 mph top speed know they used to do the journey in a straight 90 minutes, the new electric trains, which currently take 93 minutes on the fast services, will take 94 minutes from August, 2016.

“And this after we have been campaigning for faster journeys, not slower ones.

“The peak journey times have also increased, for example the 5.17pm from Charing Cross to Hastings will now leave earlier, at 5.14pm, but still arrive here at the same time, at 6.55pm. Even the new late afternoon fast train, introduced with great fanfare only this year, and which currently takes 90 minutes, has had four minutes added to its journey time, so will take 94 minutes from 2016.”

A Southeastern spokesman said: “We have made a slight change for safety reasons to allow for a speed restriction between London Bridge and New Cross while London Bridge rebuild works continue.

“In addition to this, we are consulting about adding a stop at London Bridge for services through High Brooms to Waterloo East, as from August next year trains to Cannon Street will not stop at London Bridge as part of that station’s major rebuild programme.

“This change will increase the journey time for this service by around three minutes.”