Olympic travel latest: Southeastern timetable out, 286 bus cut
If you’re planning on taking a train during the Olympics, Southeastern has released its Olympic and Paralympic timetables, which confirm draconian service cuts for many stations around venues in Greenwich and Woolwich.
As first revealed by this website 14 months ago, Woolwich Dockyard station will be completely closed, with Deptford and Westcombe Park losing two-thirds of their services. Maze Hill will lose Kent-bound trains in the morning and London-bound trains in the afternoon and evenings, while Kidbrooke trains will be cut to four per hour.
The restrictions will not only last during the Olympics (28 July-12 August) but they will also be reimposed during the more lightly-attended Paralympics (29 August-9 September). The timetable, opposed by both Greenwich and Lewisham councils as well as local MPs, was backed by the Government, while mayor Boris Johnson has declined to intervene.
It’s worth pointing out that mainline services near the Olympic Park itself, which will see crowds far in excess of what Greenwich and Woolwich will see, are not suffering such steep cuts, with just Maryland station at the north end of Stratford closing for the Games.
Don’t go looking for details of those services on TfL’s lousy Get Ahead of the Games site, though – they’re not on there, although they have belatedly added our own service cutbacks.
Full bus service details are still to be worked out, but this lengthy TfL document covers the current situation clearly and with maps, as well. There are few surprises compared with how things were the last time they were covered here, with plenty of extra buses on services including the 53, 108, 177 and 188.
But there’s a nasty surprise if you use the 286, which links Greenwich with Blackheath, Kidbrooke, Eltham and Sidcup. That service is being reduced from six to five buses per hour because of the diversion buses will have to make in Greenwich. (Ironically, this is what Greenwich Council suggested TfL do permanently to make room for its now-shelved pedestrianisation project.)
Route 129 is also running a reduced service, but will be uprated to double deckers to compensate. No such help is available for 286 users, on a single-deck bus which is regularly full to the rafters at rush hour. Apparently the bus is single-deck because of trees in Rochester Way, Eltham – maybe if Greenwich Council got some chainsaws out, TfL could get hold of some double-deckers? Just a thought.
Finally, above are the stats for people reaching this website via search engines on Monday. They were roughly the same on Tuesday. Sometimes I fret I’m talking nonsense and I’d be better off outside the off-licence shouting at the bins, but yes, it really does look like Greenwich Council has made a balls-up of telling people about Olympic parking permits.
But finally, today (Wednesday) should see us able to get information and apply for parking permits at www.2012gamesparkingpermits.com. If you live in an area roughly bounded by Deptford Church Street, Lee High Road and Plumstead Common, it’s worth a look, whether you drive or not.