Londonist’s favourite Train Operating Company is in the news again. They’ve announced they’ll be running more trains on the day of the Royal Wedding to allow ardent flag wavers to get in and out of central London more easily. Huzzah!
But… hang on. It’s a Saturday service that’s running. That’s fewer trains than on a normal Friday. OK, so it’s more than the Sunday service Southeastern will be running on Good Friday and Easter Monday but we still feel diddled. Diddled, we say.
Elsewhere, Southeastern have started to announce their plans for running trains during the Olympics. The TOC is in the unenviable position of serving four stations to be used as venue access points: Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton and Woolwich Arsenal. Because of the expected extra crowds, Southeastern are proposing reducing the number of trains calling at other stations, the routes from some and closing Woolwich Dockyard for the duration of the Games. You can see the detail on the excellent 853 blog.
For once, we feel for Southeastern. Diamond Geezer’s already investigated the travel disruption Games organisers expect during the event, and the sheer numbers of sports fans attempting to squeeze on and off trains means a knock-on for the timetable – time has to be made up elsewhere, presumably by not stopping. On the other hand, it’s also bloody annoying, particularly as Southeastern are looking for feedback from ‘stakeholders’ – and that doesn’t mean ‘passengers’. Get hold of your local councillor or London Travelwatch if you have an opinion.
For the rest of us, this is a sneaky peek into our future. Want to get into work on time during the Olympics? Don’t bet on it. If you can, work from home, take time off, go to an event (better be quick though). If you can’t… we’ll be here for you.