Thameslink class 700 at Charlton
Thameslink runs on the Greenwich and North Kent lines – but not at Belvedere or Erith

Bexley Council has asked Thameslink to stop its trains at Belvedere and Erith stations to provide a much-needed boost to public transport in the area.

The north-south rail link began running on the Greenwich and North Kent lines two years ago – but skips stops at Woolwich Dockyard, Belvedere and Erith on its route between Luton and Rainham in Kent.

Teresa O’Neill, the council’s Conservative leader, said she had written to Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) asking for the twice-hourly service to stop at Belvedere and Erith.

“Thameslink is particularly important to Bexley because of the limited travel options available to our residents,” Cllr O’Neill said.

“The infrastructure is in place and the change would be relatively easy to make.I have contacted Tom Moran, the managing director of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), to ask for the extra stops, explaining that they would create new opportunities and make life easier for local people.”

O’Neill said she had also recently met with senior GTR staff to make the case for the extra stops. However, she warned even if GTR agree to the proposal, the timetable changes may take some time to implement.

GTR has been contacted for comment.

If given the go-ahead, the changes would be a welcome boost to a part of London starved of public transport options – and one that is earmarked for thousands of new homes.

Last month it was revealed a planned extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Thamesmead could be axed due to Transport for London’s financial plight being worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Further afield, the Bakerloo line extension to Lewisham – and potentially Hayes – is also in jeopardy.

Crossrail services to Abbey Wood have also been delayed to 2022, it was announced last month.

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Lachlan Leeming is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich and Bexley. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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