Southeastern's Managing Director Steve White faced a Town Hall grilling from councillors on the Transport Scrutiny Committee this week, where he was challenged on widely-opposed changes to the December timetables on the Sidcup, Bexleyheath and Woolwich Lines.
Conservative Opposition Leader Councillor Matt Hartley serves on the committee and quizzed Southeastern reps on the move, questioning their supposed rationale that the arrival of the Elizabeth Line justified the changes, and with others called on Southeastern to pause the changes until a full formal consultation can be carried out. Steve White apologised for the lack of consultation and claimed he was "listening now", but resisted calls for a formal consultation.
In response to Matt's questioning on the detail of the changes, Southeastern agreed to take a particular look again at the planned loss of the half-hourly loop/rounder service linking Mottingham and New Eltham with Woolwich Line stations - currently the only direct public transport link to the Elizabeth Line at Abbey Wood and one of the borough's few north-south transport links.
Councillor Matt Hartley said: "As I told Southeastern at the Town Hall, they have achieved something that is quite difficult to do - which is to unite EVERY politician from EVERY party across South East London - in opposition to this appalling December timetable. Mr White should pause and think again to these changes to the Sidcup, Bexleyheath and Woolwich Lines, and the Department for Transport should intervene - including to ensure that no timetable changes are ever made without consultation again."
Greenwich's three Conservative councillors have added their names to a cross-party motion at next week's Full Council meeting opposing the changes, and renewing the borough's call for the government to devolve Southeastern metro services to Transport for London.