Specification for the new South Central Rail Franchise

The Department of Transport's specification for the new South Central Rail Franchise (currently held by Southern Rail) is now published.

This has been welcomed by Passenger Focus.

The Bid Specification is on the web, with annexes, at http://www.info4local.gov.uk/documents/publications/1018649. Copies of the Bid Specification and Annexes can also be downloaded from this website – see below.

What does it mean for Southwark rail users?

If you are a keen reader of railway documents and would like to help – we need some volunteers to read through the Bid Specification thoroughly, and identify:

What will impact directly on the services through our mid-Southwark stations (Peckham Rye, North & East Dulwich, Queens Rd & South Bermondsey, Denmark Hill). We need to work out if any of the service specifications might lead to reductions or increases in any of our services to London Bridge or [less likely for this franchise] Victoria Anything in the rest of the specification we should be aware of.

Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering to examine this and give us any key points. We can then collate them to circulate as relevant background information for the SRUG meeting on 17 November 2008. Contact Southwark Rail Users' Group.

A quick read through ...

We have identified the following points of direct relevance in a quick read through the text, but have made no study of the detailed service specifications, and unfortunately will have no time to do so. That is where unwelcome changes (or welcome ones!) might be hidden. So offers to do a detailed examination are really needed ...

Bid Specification Page 9

As a result of the planned works at London Bridge, the services on the route between London Bridge and London Victoria via Peckham Rye will be withdrawn in late 2012.

SRUG NOTE: This delays by a year the planned ending of the South London Loop Line (SLLL). This needs to be clarified/confirmed with somebody.

Annex A – South Central Franchise Consultation

Extract from summary of responses – pages 26,27: sixteen responses objected to the closure of the South London Line.

Dept Transport Comment:

The withdrawal of the service between London Bridge to London Victoria via Peckham Rye is necessary as a result of the planned works at London Bridge. An enhanced Southeastern service will provide links from Victoria to Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street, with possible service extensions to stations on the Catford loop. It is not yet clear whether or when the East London Line service to Clapham Junction will receive funding and, should the project not go ahead, then the reinstatement of the South London Line service could be considered as part of the specification for the subsequent South Central franchise.

SRUG NOTE: Dept of Transport says they will be prepared to reconsider the ending of the South London Loop Line if the ELLX2 doesn't get funding. So – does this mean it *IS* technically possible to continue it after Network Rail have continuously said it must end because there will not be enough platform space when London Bridge station is reconstructed?

Annex B – South Central Franchise Consultation is also available for download.

Extract from Department for Transport Press Release:

The Department will also fund, and TfL will install, ticket gates at around 14 stations in south London before September 2009. Stations such as PECKHAM RYE and Croydon will see ticket gates installed over the coming months to reduce ticketless travel and improve security across the network.

SRUG NOTE: Ticket gates at Peckham Rye in the next year? But not Oyster cards? And not at other stations?