Will the changes in train services effect you?
Back in February 2006 Swale Borough Council provided a public consultation on their Transport Policy. This included the proposed changes to the train timetable as a consequence of the new service to St Pancras which would see reductions in services to both Cannon Street and Victoria to make way for services to St Pancras.
The new high speed service to St Pancras starting in 2009 would also be accompanied by a new premium rate fair for the privilege.
If you feel strongly about this issue you may be interested to learn that a petition has been started for the against the loss of services to Cannon Street http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/KeepCannonSt/
Bapchild Parish Council did object at the time but Swale Borough Council backed the plans anyway.
The following is an extract from our objection:
We are concerned that little information has been made public with regard to the major changes that will be introduced in 2009 when the CTRL domestic services are launched. We are not convinced that the direct link between Faversham and Sittingbourne to St Pancras Station will be as well received as you obviously believe it will be.
The loss of services to Victoria and in particular Cannon Street, which operate only a limited service anyway, will not prove popular and create unacceptable levels of overcrowding. Commuters from Swale will be and large already be employed in locations within close proximity to either Victoria or Cannon Street. Many of those working in the city would also not purchase tickets which include tube travel.
This isn’t a case of creating more options with a high speed service to London, but one of removing existing choices and replacing them with a higher priced service which will warrant additional journeys on the tube.
It is therefore questionable whether for example someone working in the city would ultimately save that much time, but it is certain that it will be a great deal more expensive.
With reduced services from stations such as Newington and Teynham it may encourage increased traffic and parking problems for Sittingbourne as some commuters commute into Sittingbourne to catch a train.
There is also some danger in this strategy in so much as its success would actually create an increase in the popularity of Sittingbourne as a commuter haven.