Petitions — Rail Services (South-East London)

– in the House of Commons at 5:46 pm on 23rd March 2005.

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Photo of Mr Nigel Beard Mr Nigel Beard Labour, Bexleyheath and Crayford 5:46 pm, 23rd March 2005

I wish to present a petition on behalf of the residents of Bexleyheath, Crayford and surrounding areas of south-east London.

The Strategic Rail Authority has put out to tender the integrated Kent franchise rail network. Consultation took place in January 2004, after which the SRA proposed a balance of services to London Victoria, London Bridge and Cannon Street from Bexleyheath. However, a year later, the specification issued to companies that wish to run the services has cut all peak and off-peak services to Victoria station. Such a departure from the original proposals devalues the consultation process. Many people from my constituency use the Victoria service regularly to get to work or to the west end for leisure. That change in service will cause substantial inconvenience to those commuting to Victoria and stations in between, such as Denmark Hill, which serves King's College hospital.

I am today submitting 618 handwritten signatures. A further 1,176 signatures appear on Bexley council's website, making a total of roughly 1,800 signatures, which suggests the strength of dismay about the sudden change to transport provision for south-east London. Bexley council also objects to the removal of the Bexleyheath to Victoria service.

The petition states:

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to press for the Strategic Rail Authority to reinstate services between Bexleyheath and Victoria Station, along with other passenger rail services to Charing Cross and Cannon Street (as derived from consultation), in the specification of services that companies tendering for the Integrated Kent Franchise will be expected to provide.

To lie upon the Table.