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Bonkers Blog February 2015

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9 February (Part 3) - Politicians on platforms? There must be a train or an election due

I don’t think my new parliamentary candidate has got the hang of Erith and Thamesmead yet. She was at Abbey Wood station late this afternoon standing on the Up Platform gathering the signatures of commuters arriving on the Down Platform, while pursuing yet another Tory election wheeze. A petition to South Eastern Trains to get them to run a better service.

I suppose it is a little more realistic than expecting residents of this unremarkable parliamentary constituency to stop the Scots poking their noses into our business, but maybe not a lot. Does Anna Firth think that no one has campaigned for better train services before?

PetitionIf Ms. Firth lingered on Abbey Wood station more than a couple of minutes she may have noticed that a train sets off for London every ten minutes with an extra one flung in for good measure every half an hour. By far the best train service in Bexley (OK it’s 50 yards over the border but never mind that) and equal to anything found in the borough of Greenwich.

It’s true that rush hour capacity has been reduced but that is caused by the long overdue total reconstruction of London Bridge station. Little can be done about that.

The 12 car train situation is rather silly but we are stuck with a maximum of ten. Woolwich Dockyard station is sandwiched between two tunnels and cannot be extended. Ten coaches is the limit. It was very short-sighted to have bought trains that did not come with selective door closing and unable to be retro-fitted with it, so the option of stopping with the tail end coaches in the tunnel is unavailable. Maybe Ms. Firth would prefer to close Woolwich Dockyard station as a quick fix, but there are no spare coaches available in the rush hour anyway or we might not see the occasional four or six coach train running at that time.

I’ve always thought it peculiar that every railway user knows more about running trains than professional and often very enthusiastic railwaymen - and women.

So it’s another waste of time by Conservative candidate Anna Firth. She would be better advised to campaign for something that is attainable. How about step free access to Erith station Platform 1? At present the disabled have a half hour diversion via Dartford. But someone got there first - and there wasn’t an election just around the corner at the time.

 

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