It’s been a while since our public relaunch meeting. So what have we been doing since then?
As anyone who even vaguely follows the news will know, trains – whether it’s their management, their reliability or their cost – have been rarely out of it. One of the benefits of coming together to form as transport ‘user group’, rather than just acting in an individual capacity, is that you’re able to attend train operating companies’ stakeholder engagement events. So we’ve been to a fair few of those – alongside friends from the Greenwich Line Users’ Group – to make sure concerns of Charlton commuters, whatever their circumstances and needs, have been on the table.
We’ve also responded to the majority of public transport consultations that have been run over the last two years. Looking just at trains, these have included Network Rail’s North Kent Area Route Study, Southeastern’s stakeholder survey (run in addition to their face-to-face events). We responded to the Department for Transport’s South Eastern Rail Franchise consultation, taking part in meetings arranged by Campaign for Better Transport with three of the companies bidding for the franchise, Govia, Abellio and Stagecoach – and recently responded to the Rail Delivery Groups’s Easier Fares consultation (the awarding of the franchise has now been postponed).
Along with the Greenwich Line Users’ Group, we met with Govia Thameslink following the ongoing re-timetabling fiasco beginning in May 2018, and met Southeastern to talk about their “emergency” timetable. Taking other ways of getting around, we’ve responded to calls for views about junctions – as part of the London Assembly’s inquiry into how to promote walking and cycling – as well as Transport for London’s proposals for changing bus services in view of the opening of Crossrail.
Yes, Crossrail! Just one example – along with cuts to bus services, including the valuable 53 route and others serving Charlton – of how transport issues aren’t going away anytime soon. So we’ll keep looking for ways to make Charlton transport users’ voices heard – including, hopefully, some more public events, so that everyone can come and have their say.
We’d also be really grateful to hear from anyone who’d like to help us do that. And we’d also be happy to discuss any of the things we’ve mentioned here. Just get in touch via the contact page or at firstname.lastname@example.org.