Following on from our last update to you, the Cinderella Line service has seen little improvement since the introduction of the May 2018 timetables, with services routinely being overcrowded and cancelled and short notice.
In our last update about the service, we explained how the message we have been feeding back to Thameslink, based on our experience – which is the same as yours - is that this is simply unacceptable and cannot continue.
What happens now?
It has been widely publicised in the media, that the current issues with the new timetable are not unique to our route, and given the seriousness of the situation, the Office of Rail and Road have been tasked with an investigation into the May timetable disruption by the government, and the Chief Executive of Thameslink has resigned from his role.
What does this mean for passengers?
Thameslink and Network Rail have been working together with they key priority being to stabilisethe service. As a result of this, from Sunday 15th July, there will be an interim timetable that will be in place until at least December 2018.
This interim timetable has been designed to offer stability to our services and remove the short notice cancellations, however this does mean a reduction in our service.
As you can see from the above table, this means that our off peak and weekend services are going to be worse than they were before the May timetable change.
We are deeply unhappy about this, and both the campaign and MP Vicky Foxcroft has flagged to Thameslink that we need to see our off peak services restored to 4 trains an hour as originally promised, and for our services to run though the core up to St Pancras.
How can I plan my journey for next week?
Will we get more services in December?
Quite simply, no one knows. We have asked the question of Thameslink and Network Rail and at present there is an industry wide freeze on many train operators in terms of when further timetable changes will be made.
We are continuing to push Thameslink and Network Rail on this point as we urgently need to see our service restored.
How can we hold the operators to account for this?
We have met with Thameslink earlier this week along with a number of other rail campaign groups on their network to discuss the appalling state of affairs.
Many of their other routes are going down to just one train an hour off peak so there was much frustration about the level of services that will run until December.
We are in the process of arranging another public meeting to give you all a chance to speak directly to our train operators about the service.
Why has it all gone so wrong?
There is a detailed article published by London Reconnections, a transport magazine that explains where many of the failings have happened in the whole timetable process.
What is the future for our route?
Following on from the disaster of the May timetable introduction, there have been renewed calls from City Hall and the Mayors office to devolve our services to Transport for London.
As a campaign, this is something we fully support. TfL Rail have vastly improved the services they run - you only need to look at nearby Honor Oak Park and Brockley stations to see how they have been transformed in terms of the numbers of trains they have, the station conditions and the overall passenger experience.