Report into Vital Rail Line - Southwark News

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REPORT INTO 'VITAL' RAIL LINE Read: Southwark News  12 February 2010   Emma Alies

Campaigners battling to save the South London Line have published a report arguing that the line is vital if south London is ever to enjoy a train service which runs at tube-like frequency.
The report claims that scrapping the link would mean that King's College and Maudsley hospitals at Denmark Hill would lose all evening services to Victoria and lose their direct service to London Bridge.

Direct links from Peckham Rye to central London would be reduced, which campaigners believe will have an adverse effect on attracting businesses and visitors to Peckham. Queen's Road and Bermondsey would also lose their direct link to Victoria.

The South London Line campaign group call for both the introduction of the East London Line, which will be extended to south London in 2012, and the retention of the South London Line.

They are planning a series of stunts for 2010 to highlight their cause, beginning with a race from Clapham to Victoria with one team using the South London Line and another using the Northern Line, to see which is the fastest.

Stephen Govier said: "We're also keeping our petition going, which currently has over 4,000 signatures. We think that the South London Line can be retained easily at minimal extra cost, and we want to save the whole service, not individual trains."

John Stewart, the co-ordinator of the Lambeth Public Transport Group, said: "Our aim is to get Transport for London and the railways to ensure that the South London Line is kept in place. If not, then we want another good replacement so that key areas are not left with worse rail services. The campaign is looking for improvement, not reduction."

A TfL spokesperson said: "Over the next seven years more than £6bn will be spent on improvements to rail services in south London. Transport for London and London TravelWatch have been working together to find alternatives to the South London Line service when it is withdrawn due to the Thameslink works at London Bridge.

From a long list of 30 options we have now reduced the list down to five, which includes a Victoria to Bellingham service. We are in the process of evaluating these options with Network Rail and DfT which should be completed in the next six weeks."