Southeastern miss the beat again


Rather them than me. Fair play to the organisers of Run to the Beat, who this year seem to have managed to keep people informed about their third fun run through Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich and Blackheath. Well, by that I mean I got a mailout from them about road closures and whatnot, which is more than they managed last year. I still don’t quite see the event ever being taken to people’s hearts in the way the London Marathon has done – partly because there’s little chance of seeing your house on the telly with RTTB.

But with 15,000 competitors on the streets, each with friends or family cheering them on; and a bus network completely banjaxed by the race, how did the heavily-subsidised private monopoly which runs the trains through the area, Southeastern, step up to the challenge of moving people around the place? After all, there’s plenty of people at Charlton station at the moment…

By cancelling a third of the service, that’s how. Despite there being no bus services from Charlton to Blackheath or Lewisham, the entire Woolwich-Charlton-Blackheath-Lewisham service was also canned by Southeastern and Network Rail on Sunday – knocking the service at Woolwich Arsenal and Charlton down from six to four trains per hour.

Genius.

The culprit was engineering works at Slade Green, it seems – although with a huge rail depot there, it surely would have been possible to turn round extra trains there anyway. But Southeastern seems fond of cancelling trains in inner London to accommodate engineering work in deepest Kent, presumably because it saves them having to employ an extra set of drivers each Sunday.

After all, we only pay them £116m/ year to run a train service, we don’t want them to push the boat out for major events or anything…