COMMUTERS in parts of the area will be left without a peak time train service after a train company “annihilated” its timetable.
The Southeastern timetable, described by the company as the network’s biggest change for 50 years, will see a reduction in peak time trains in the morning rush hours from Blackheath station to Cannon Street and Charing Cross.
Under changes starting on December 13, from 8am until 9am Cannon Street services will be reduced by half, with three trains being withdrawn along with one Charing Cross train.
And commuters at Woolwich Arsenal will have no service at all from Woolwich Arsenal to Blackheath and Lewisham between 7am and 9am.
According to the Office of Rail Regulation more than 18 million journeys were made on this stretch of the line in the 2007/8 financial year.
Anthony Mooney, of Kentmere Road, Plumstead, currently travels from Woolwich Arsenal to Blackheath every morning to take sons Yusuf, 10, and Eesa, five, to John Ball Primary School.
The journey takes less than 10 minutes but under the new timetable the 35-year-old civil servant will have to travel into London Bridge and back out again to Blackheath - an ordeal which will last up to an hour.
He said: “It’s really terrible and people haven’t been made aware.
“By the time they find out everything will be implemented and there’ll be no going back.
“I’d understand if they cancelled one or two trains but they’ve annihilated the whole timetable.”
Ben Kelland, a member of Blackheath Village Residents Group, has organised an online petition, which has 697 signatures so far, calling for the reductions to be stopped and claiming passengers were not consulted.
Mr Kelland, 28, said: “We believe this is the worst timetable for Blackheath commuters for at least 35 years.”
A spokesman for Southeastern said consultations had been ongoing since 2006 and trains were being diverted to increase capacity at Lewisham.
He said: “Once the new timetable beds in and passengers adjust to new journey patterns, we will be monitoring train loadings and if it is believed necessary, we can discuss amendments with the Department for Transport.”
The petition is online at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/southeastern2