Com­muters face rail dis­rup­tion as Thames­link work con­tin­ues

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

Com­muters are be­ing told to ex­pect ma­jor dis­rup­tion as train sta­tions used by Kent pas­sen­gers are closed for more than a week.

South­east­ern an­nounced there will be no ser­vices to ma­jor hubs in the cap­i­tal such as Water­loo and Can­non Street as work is car­ried out for the Thames­link pro­gramme.

The work also means no trains will run to and from Char­ing Cross, Lon­don Bridge and Water­loo East sta­tions be­tween Satur­day, Au­gust 26, and Satur­day, Septem­ber 2.

It means any­one who would nor­mally travel to and from those sta­tions with South­east­ern will be di­verted else­where.

Net­work Rail has en­forced the clo­sures to al­low time for en­gi­neers to fit the in­fra­struc­ture for the Lon­don Cross­rail scheme.

In ad­di­tion to the lack of ser­vice at Char­ing Cross and Lon­don Bridge, there will also be no ser­vice at Black­fri­ars on Mon­day, Au­gust 28, and Satur­day, Septem­ber 2.

Trains will not run at Can­non Street Satur­day and Sun­day, Au­gust 26-27, Vic­to­ria on Sun­day, Septem­ber 3, and Water­loo be­tween Satur­day and Mon­day, Au­gust 26-28, and again be­tween Satur­day and Sun­day, Septem­ber 2-3.

Be­tween Tues­day, Au­gust 29, and Friday, Septem­ber 1, trains on the Maid­stone East line will be di­verted to Lon­don Vic­to­ria.

Lianna Etkind, from Cam­paign for Bet­ter Trans­port, said: “This is part of the Thames­link pro­gramme which is im­prov­ing rail links be­tween Kent and Lon­don and it’s go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing for com­muters that week. But the good news is that af­ter those engi­neer­ing works hope­fully there will be a pos­i­tive ef­fect for jour­neys made.

“I think this is a case of short­term pain for long-term gain.”

Si­mon Blanch­flower, Net­work Rail’s Thames­link Pro­gramme di­rec­tor, said: “I would like to thank pas­sen­gers for their pa­tience while we con­tinue to re­build the UK’s fourth busiest sta­tion and up­grade the rail­way to make it fit for the 21st cen­tury.

“I strongly ad­vise pas­sen­gers to plan their jour­neys ahead and check be­fore they travel as we build a bet­ter, more re­li­able rail­way with greater ca­pac­ity for the mil­lions of pas­sen­gers that use it each year.”

El­lie Bur­rows, South­east­ern’s train ser­vices di­rec­tor, said: “The clo­sures mean we are un­able to run our nor­mal ser­vice and it will mean con­sid­er­able dis­rup­tion for our pas­sen­gers, par­tic­u­larly for those four work­ing days.

“We are do­ing every­thing we can to pro­vide al­ter­na­tive jour­ney op­tions, and we’ll be run­ning longer trains where pos­si­ble.

“But with the three ma­jor Lon­don sta­tions closed there will be fewer ser­vices, queues are to be ex­pected and trains that do run will be very busy.

“We’ve been work­ing very closely with Net­work Rail, TfL and the Depart­ment for Trans­port to plan for this and we’ve been giv­ing pas­sen­gers ad­vance no­tice so they can plan ahead.

“We urge pas­sen­gers to check how their jour­neys will be af­fected by vis­it­ing our web­site.”

Those trains that do run will be much busier than usual and will be di­verted to other sta­tions, in­clud­ing Vic­to­ria, Black­fri­ars, Can­non Street and Lon­don Water­loo In­ter­na­tional.

Queu­ing sys­tems will be in place in some sta­tions and pas­sen­gers are ad­vised to leave more time for their jour­ney.

‘We are do­ing every­thing we can to pro­vide al­ter­na­tive jour­ney op­tions, and we’ll be run­ning longer trains where pos­si­ble’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.