Boris’s trouble with the South London Line isn’t going away, despite his keen, almost desperate attempts to pin the blame on the DfT.  As we know, the DfT were allowed to run rings round Boris by his desire to cut costs at TfL, with the DfT equally keen to have Boris and TfL Rail carry the can for the scrapping of the proposed Victoria-Bellingham service.  London Reconnections carried a good round-up the other day, following up a previous report which revealed that TfL and London Travelwatch are doing yet another study on the route.  Since there wasn’t much wrong with previous studies that pointed out that withdrawing the Victoria service from Clapham High Street/Wandsworth Town without replacement was a bad idea, it’s hard to see this as much more than window dressing – London Travelwatch are hardly the scariest outfit in the transport jungle.  If London Reconnections are right, the three Overground-based options on the table (i.e. those TfL can directly influence) are deliberately chosen to be basically useless – two would cripple the Clapham Junction Overground service to half-hourly while the other requires extra Class 378s from somewhere.  I’m not sure that counts as a valid exercise, since clearly the best option is a Victoria->Peckham-><somewhere> service, which is where we started.  In an ideal world that would be the start of radial Overground services in south London, but this isn’t an ideal world while the DfT and privatised rail companies still hold the whip hand.  That’s the scandal, and other than noises from Boris about seeking greater control over rail services there’s nothing concrete on the table to change that.

Other reading:

  • Southwark News report on a tube map prepared by SLL campaigner Laurie Eggleston (h/t from Twitter) showing the SLL as if it were a proper Tube line, to highlight the usual disparity in provision north and south of the river.
  • Transpontine has a nice round up of the various campaign groups – Save our SLL, Southwark Rail Users Group etc.
  • Brockley Central cuts through the crap about reductions in service on the lines being handed over to TfL – basically the service to London Bridge/Charing Cross is cut by a third in the evenings but this is more than made up for by the vast increase in services to the East London Line.  The ELL has an easy interchange onto the newly enhanced (cross fingers) Jubilee Line for connections to the West End while the Whitechapel and Shoreditch High Street stations aren’t much less convenient than London Bridge for northern and eastern parts of the City (which is spreading in those directions anyway, which is part of the point of the ELLX)
  • Southwark Rail Users Group pointing out that Boris is rocking up in Brixton for the next PQT, which puts him right in the firing line.  I bet he blames the DfT.
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