Monday, June 29, 2009

Save the South London Line!

It is so long again since I last posted on the blog! But despite this I thought I should write an update on the campaign to Save the South London Line, which had a brilliant launch last Friday morning at Denmark Hill Station.
The South London Line runs between London Bridge and Victoria twice an hour, and is one of the oldest commuter services in London. Local historian John Beasley has told me the date the service started on more than one occasion but I am afraid I have forgotten! Either 1865 or 1885 sticks in my memory.

If you have ever used the service you will know how useful it is, particularly for any users who are travelling to either Guys or Kings College Hospitals. Whenever I use the service, and at whatever time of day, the train is full. A couple of years ago we fought successfully to prevent the service being stopped, and had hoped that Transport for London would leave the SLL alone.
Then again last year a proposal came to cut the SLL but to replace it with a Victoria to Bellingham service. This would have meant four trains an hour would pass along the line, but passengers would need to change at Peckham Rye. Not ideal, but better than no service at all. The next twist was the decision to drop the Victoria to Bellingham service, meaning the end of any recognisable service between Victoria and London Bridge.
The campaign has cross-party and cross-community support, but special praise must go to Val Shawcross, GLA member for Lambeth and Southwark who has co-ordinated much of the campaign.

The campaign launch was attended by Harriet Harman, Tessa Jowell, Martin Linton, other GLA members and councillors and an array of local residents from along the Victoria to London Bridge line. You can get more information about the campaign at

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