Monday, 11 July 2016

Southern Sorts the Staff Shortage (1) ...

... by Not Running Trains
This was the Daily Mail headline last week.
The use of the word "another" for the 350 trains is, of course misleading; but it is the "scare your readers witless" Daily Mail! The previous Southern emergency strike  and sickly guards timetables had up to 250 trains cancelled and the new schedule (from today, 11th July) adds a further 100.

Well done Mail, wrong again!

For those of us less than familiar with Southern's normal operating pattern, fbb has tried to summarise the most significant changes.

Services between Tonbridge, London Victoria / London Bridge
These services will operate between Tonbridge and Redhill only (i.e. a local shuttle) for much of the day. Peak services will largely continue to operate to and from London.  The "normal" off-peak service runs every hour.

Services between Reigate and London:

There will be fewer services overall between London and Redhill. There will be no daytime direct services between Reigate and London Victoria. Please change at East Croydon at off-peak times. (i.e. a local shuttle) Peak services are largely unaffected.
Southern at Reigate

The "normal" off-peak service to Reigate runs every hour.

Services between Sutton and London Bridge via Mitcham Junction (peak only):

There will be no direct service between Sutton and London Bridge via Mitcham Junction. Thameslink services will still operate between Sutton, Mitcham Junction, Tulse Hill and London Blackfriars. You may also use Croydon Tramlink services between Mitcham Junction and East Croydon (for connecting trains to/from London Bridge).
Southern at Mitcham Junction

No service between Milton Keynes Central and East Croydon: (click on the map for an enlagerment). This hourly service will be withdrawn completely.
Tickets will be accepted on London Midland services between Milton Keynes Central, Watford Junction (and on to London Euston); London Overground services between Watford Junction and Willesden Junction and London Overground services between Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction. Alternative, yes; but much much slower; normally an hourly service.

Only tickets routed via London will be accepted on the Underground. The quickest alternative is via Euston; it is very mean NOT to accept tickets via that route and London Underground.
Southern at Milton Keynes

No service between Guildford and Leatherhead (peak only):
Tickets will be accepted on South West Trains service to and from London Waterloo.

No service between Sutton and Streatham via Wimbledon (peak only): See Thameslink (blue) liner on map above.

No service between London Bridge and Beckenham Junction:
This half hourly service disappears completely.
Please use alternative Southern, Tramlink, London Overground and Southeastern services to complete your journey. Southern tickets will also be accepted on local buses between West Norwood and Tulse Hill and between Crystal Palace, Birkbeck and Beckenham Junction. South Eastern services provide an alternative.
Southern at Beckenham Junction

A pattern is emerging. Where peak hour links only are run, these are chopped completely, leaving passengers to use full day services provided by other operators. SENSIBLE.

Some lesser used services have lost their through off-peak trains to/from London. SENSIBLE

Where other operators services cover most of the route, total withdrawal is the policy. SENSIBLE

Clearly this is going to inconvenience a whole lotta people but if such drastic measures are necessary (and the dispute appears to be never ending), these deletions offer limited pain in limited area to try to ensure that the real biggies can continue to run.

The reduced timetables do not, in any way, mitigate the long-term stupidity of this on-going dispute; although there will be widely different opinions as to which side is being stupid!

We will sample some more tomorrow; and take a look back at a possible gaffe by the Department for Transport way back in February.

 Next  Southern  blog : Tuesday 12th July 

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