Today saw the publication of the Olympic and Paralympic timetables, following approval from the Department for Transport, after consultation with key stakeholders including MPs, London TravelWatch, Passenger Focus, councils and local user groups.
The timetable has been designed to meet the predicted increase in demand from those travelling to Olympic venues. Southeastern has worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to refine their plans and ensure the majority of services are able to be operated for regular commuters. Where possible trains will also be lengthened as it is expected services will be busy throughout the Olympic Games.
Also agreed are details of compensation for those most directly affected by the changes to the timetable. High speed season ticket holders, of one month or longer, will be contacted directly by Southeastern next year and provided with compensation, the premium fare paid to use the service for the duration of the Olympic Games. Southeastern will also be contacting monthly and longer season ticket holders from Woolwich Dockyard with compensation arrangements, due to its closure for the duration of the Olympic Games.
Hugh Sumner, ODA Director of Transport, said, “Games-time transport networks will be extremely busy and to enable spectators to get around, in addition to other users, services will be significantly enhanced. We have worked alongside Southeastern and the nations’ train operating companies to ensure that the necessary plans are in place well ahead of the Games before next summer so that we can look forward to a successful summer of sport.”
The changes within the Metro (South East London) area have been made to ensure the safe and reliable operation of train services throughout the Olympic Games period given the significantly higher demand for services during this period. For example, at Greenwich there could be up to 75,000 spectators travelling on the busiest day, the majority using local stations.
To ensure all passengers can alight, the train has to be in the station for longer than usual. The only way to create this extra time is not stop the train at some stations further down the line on occasions and use those time savings where they are most needed. Blackheath, Woolwich Arsenal and Charlton are also Olympic venue stations which will require trains to stop for longer and so increasing the need to find extra time.
Where stations see a reduction in services, they have been chosen based on passenger counts and ability to handle large crowds. Stations affected are Maze Hill, Deptford, Kidbrooke, Westcombe Park and Woolwich Dockyard (closed for the Games). All other stations will be unaffected although it is expected services generally will be busier. Following the consultation, the selected services between Charlton and Lewisham that were initially removed have been reinstated.
Mainline and High Speed
Mainline services in Kent and East Sussex will generally operate as today’s timetable but are likely to be busy with more people travelling overall. Southeastern has worked with the ODA to develop the ‘Javelin’ shuttle service intended to run between St Pancras International, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International and secured agreement for an additional two trains an hour to Ashford International and one train an hour along the North Kent coast to Faversham. The Javelin service will affect high speed services to all other stations it currently serves. Following the consultation, late night services to Ashford International and Faversham have been introduced.
The timetable for the Paralympics will be as per normal day-to-day service with an increased number of high speed services to Stratford and Ebbsfleet International stations and extra late night services.
A Southeastern spokesperson said, “The Olympic timetable is aimed at providing the best possible service to satisfy the need to get spectators to and from venues and also to get our existing commuters into work. We have consulted widely on the draft timetables and made some changes, such as reinstating services to Charlton station and the introduction of late night high speed services to Ashford International and Faversham. While services will be busy, it is expected that there will be a decline in normal numbers of passengers travelling.”
Please note the timetable will be subject to minor alterations in the lead up to the Games.
To find out further details of the timetable please visit the Olympic section of our website.