London Orbital isolates the Capital

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Letter to Modern Railways magazine  (read article)    From:    Graham Feakins

Just who is this man, emboldened with the title of "London Rail Chief Operating Officer" and by name of Howard Smith, who can dismiss in two short sentences the total future of the South London Line (MR Dec. 09) by stating that Network Rail has 'already said' that the London Bridge end will be cut off in 2012, there has been "some controversy" and that the Victoria enhancement will not even

commence, whilst not mentioning that the link to Battersea Park is likely to be lost by diversion to Clapham Junction? Oddly, that is more remote from Victoria - and we all know what Clapham Junction is like to change trains.  "Some controversy" is putting it mildly.

For nearly 100 years (many are hoping to celebrate that moment), the SLL has ably served London Bridge and London Victoria termini by electric traction from inner South London districts, where only buses and no useful Underground exists.  At least the man admits that the "core part" of the South London Orbital dream "will not serve central London termini".

I can't be wrong, then.  What about those many who want to get there though?  The extension of the East London Line via Surrey Quays is no consolation whatsoever and will certainly not "help to fill the gap". That's a load of eyewash.

Major teaching hospitals, their patients, consultants and ancillary staff are involved in all this and concern has already been expressed in many ways.

Why is Mr. Smith so oblivious to it all?  I guess "Orbital" in his brain eliminates all else.  There's a good hospital beside Denmark Hill station on the SLL that might be able to apply some correctional therapy, if he can get there directly from London Bridge or Victoria.