Long-suffering rail passengers on the Greenwich line will have even fewer trains this month because of industrial action by the rail union Aslef.
Last December the Westminster government cut Southeastern Metro services across SE London, with services via Greenwich cut to four unevenly-timed trains per hour – two from Southeastern and two from Thameslink.
Now the same government’s ongoing row with the rail unions over pay and conditions means that Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park stations are down to just three trains per hour this week, with one of the Thameslink Luton-Rainham services being pulled because of an overtime ban by Aslef.
Charlton, Woolwich Arsenal, Abbey Wood and Slade Green will be down to five trains per hour towards London Bridge.
The overtime ban began yesterday and runs until 23.59 on Saturday, meaning an even less frequent service through Greenwich all week. Yesterday Aslef announced there would also be another overtime ban from 17-22 July, which is likely to have the same effect.
Southeastern is expecting to run a full service on both weeks although it has warned of short-notice cancellations.
Other London rail companies badly hit by the overtime ban include Southern, Great Northern, South Western and Chiltern, with services to and from the Wireless festival at Finsbury Park, from Friday, and the Blur concert at Wembley Stadium on Saturday set to be badly affected, as well as services to the Wimbledon tennis championships.
Elizabeth Line and London Overground services, which are controlled by Transport for London, are not part of the dispute.
Aslef has accused the government of imposing a managed decline on the rail industry. Mick Lynch, the general secretary, said: “Train drivers don’t want to be inconveniencing the public. We want to resolve this dispute.
“We have given the government and rail operators plenty of opportunities to come to the table but it remains clear that they do not want a resolution.”
The rail companies say the union has rejected a “fair and affordable offer” that would raise average driver base salaries from £60,000 to almost £65,000.
The other main rail union, the RMT, has called strikes for July 20, 22 and 29.
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