Southeastern has confirmed changes to its train services in south east London which will come into effect as of December.  

The change to its timetables comes as a result of “substantial” loss in customer demand following the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Southeastern website.  

Southeastern said it needs to ensure that train services meet the needs of the way commuters are travelling now.

On its website, Southeastern said fewer customers with season tickets are travelling with them – compared with before the pandemic only 32 per cent of journeys are purchased with season tickets.

The changes will see the loss of direct off-peak and weekend services to Charing Cross on the Bexleyheath Line. 

Off-peak and weekend trains on the Bexleyheath line will now go to London Cannon Street. 

Commuters on the Bexleyheath line will have to use London Bridge to connect to Charing Cross.  

On the Sidcup line, between 6.30am-9.30am and 4pm-7pm commuter peak times, there will be a loss of three train services to Charing Cross.

The Woolwich line will also see reductions in Charing Cross services.  

Two trains per hour will still run along the Woolwich line from Charlton to Lewisham but will instead terminate at Cannon Street.  

Commuters on the Woolwich line will have to use London Bridge to connect to Cannon Street or Charing Cross.  

Peak time services between Beckenham Junction and Blackfriars have been added to the timetable.  

Chloe-Jane Ross, of the Liberal Democrats Bromley, said after 18-months of campaigning, the return of the Blackfriars service will make a huge difference to commuters.

She said after having regular meetings with Southeastern a decision was made to restore the service.

She added that Southeastern’s data to scrap the service did not show the true demand from commuters.

Chloe explained: “Beckenham is an excellent transport hub, and this  is one of the reasons that people choose to set up home here.

“I'm delighted we've been able to make a strong case to Southeastern and they've listened to us.

“The return of this service will make a huge difference to many commuters.

“I’ve had regular meetings with Southeastern and was presented with different statistics being used to assess use of the service.

“But what these stats didn’t show was the different choices commuters were making in the absence of the Blackfriars service.

“Southeastern's data did not show the true demand for the service, and in the end the Head of Operations agreed with me on this.”

Abena Oppong-Asare, MP for Erith and Thamesmead said: “I’m very concerned about the changes announced by Southeastern that will make a material difference to commuters in Erith and Thamesmead.

I've been having conversations with concerned constituents and stakeholders on the implications and have raised this with Southeastern and the Transport Secretary to ask them why a public consultation has not taken place."

Southeastern said it would be scrapping first class on its services between London, Kent and East Sussex. 

The changes will come into effect on Sunday, December 11. 

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