Four trains will run from platform 2 between 0700 and 0800 Credit: The Greenwich Wire

Commuters who use North Greenwich station will find it harder to get a seat on morning trains from 23 March after Transport for London decided to stop trains turning around at North Greenwich at the peak of the rush hour.

For many years, part of the peak hour Jubilee Line service has included trains that turn around at North Greenwich rather than continuing all the way to Stratford. With many West End-bound trains arriving full at North Greenwich, thousands of SE London commuters simply aim for one of the North Greenwich starters rather than try their luck with a train that has begun its trip at Stratford. In the evening rush hour, the extra capacity has been a boon for people working at Canary Wharf heading west.

At present, 24 trains turn around at North Greenwich each morning – from 23 March, that will be cut to 13, with only four running before 9.30am.
The change follows the opening of several large new housing developments – such as London City Island and Royal Wharf – at Canning Town and the Royal Docks, and the further development of Stratford’s Olympic Park as a business district. Organisations moving to Stratford’s International Quarter include Transport for London itself.

It also follows efforts by both Transport for London and Greenwich Council to improve access to North Greenwich. The 335 bus from Kidbrooke was launched in October, while the council is to make a decision in April on giving TfL £1.2m to enhance the frequency of the 132 bus from Eltham, which was extended to North Greenwich a decade ago.

Despite notorious overcrowding at North Greenwich bus station – due to be moved under the latest plans for the peninsula – it remains an attractive option due to its location in zone 2, when most of Greenwich borough’s rail connections are firmly in zones 3 or 4. North Greenwich has also benefited from mayor Sadiq Khan’s four-year partial fare freeze, unlike the borough’s National Rail stations.

Early commuters will still be able to board a handful of North Greenwich starters – the new working timetable shows trains starting at North Greenwich at 0700, 0711, 0723 and 0733. Later risers will be able to take trains from platform 2 at 0943, 0953, 1008, 1023, 1038, 1053, 1108, 1123 and 1138. But during the rest of the peak period, all trains will now start from Stratford.

853 asked Transport for London early on Monday morning for a comment, but has yet to receive a response.

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