Conservative councillors have launched a petition to 'Save The Loop' train service that connects New Eltham, Mottingham and other Sidcup Line stations with the Woolwich Line. The petition was started by Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of the Conservative Opposition at the Town Hall, following the announcement (without consultation) of Southeastern's "disastrous" December timetable changes.
At this month's Transport Scrutiny meeting Councillor Hartley challenged Southeastern Managing Director Steve White on his use of the arrival of the Elizabeth Line as justification for reduced services - pointing out that the new timetable removes the south of the borough's only direct public transport link to the Elizabeth Line at Abbey Wood.
The half-hourly loop service is also used by Charlton fans all along the Sidcup Line to get to and from The Valley, by University of Greenwich students and staff to get to and from the Avery Hill Campus, and by local schools for trips to Greenwich Town Centre.
Southeastern representatives have given a commitment to look specifically at this issue after Councillor Hartley raised the loss of the loop service. The issue was raised again during Wednesday's Full Council meeting, where councillors voted unanimously to condemn the wider changes (watch here).
Councillor Matt Hartley, Leader of Greenwich Conservatives, said: "Southeastern have made such a mess of the timetable, that I genuinely believe that the 'loop' service has been removed by accident. If they had run a consultation as they should have done, they would know that this is not some strange quirk of the timetable - the loop is essential as one of the few north-south transport links that our borough has. For Southeastern to claim these cuts are justified by the Elizabeth Line - when they actually remove the south of the borough's only direct link *to* the Elizabeth Line at Abbey Wood is just beyond belief.
"They have now committed to me that they will look into this specific issue - and we need to show how valued the half-hourly loop service is. Please sign and share this new petition far and wide."
Sign and share the Save The Loop petition at https://www.change.org/p/save-the-loop-train-service-from-sidcup-line-stations-to-abbey-wood-woolwich-and-charlton