The Royal Borough's three Conservative councillors joined with Labour councillors to unanimously condemn Southeastern's December timetable changes on the Sidcup, Bexleyheath and Woolwich Lines this week.
In a debate on a motion drafted on a cross-party basis, Leader of the Conservative Opposition Matt Hartley blasted Southeastern's "appalling" decision not to publicly consult on its plans, and criticised the Department for Transport for allowing the changes to go ahead.
In his speech on behalf of the Conservative Group (watch above), Councillor Hartley singled out the lack of consideration for the growth of Kidbrooke Village, the lack of logic to Bexleyheath Line changes to off-peak services when delays are overwhelmingly at peak times, and the loss of the half-hourly 'loop' service from the Sidcup Line to the Elizabeth Line at Abbey Wood for particular criticism.
Councillor Matt Hartley said: "Southeastern told us last week that the 11th December timetable is now hard-wired in. Even if that’s the case, they should announce now - immediately - a formal public consultation on the changes, to inform a new timetable as early as possible in the New Year, and then listen to the comments that are made. Southeastern told us they are “now in listening mode". They should prove it - launch a consultation, listen to the public and give people the rail services they need."
The debate followed last week's Transport Scrutiny meeting, where Southeastern's Managing Director and Director of Operations came under 3 hours of scrutiny and questioning over their plans.