Figures have just been released showing passenger number increases at all stations along the Greenwich line last year, with the exception of Woolwich Arsenal. Particularly strong growth was seen at Belvedere which is up 11.4%, and Deptford continues its recent strong increases with a rise of 11.7%. Woolwich Dockyard also saw a 9.2% increase. See below for the full figures:

Greenwich line passenger figures 2013/14Woolwich Arsenal’s large decrease could be down to lacking Olympics passengers the past year; Greenwich also sees only a small increase which could be due to this. Another possible reason is people find the DLR preferable when given the option.

Reasons for growth?

When figures show large increases or decreases, a note is often attached to explain why. The note by Deptford is curious as it suggests that large growth there is due to the new station building which opened in 2012. I think it’s far more likely due to an increased population, demographic changes and new homes constructed nearby. The railway industry has come under criticism from TfL for not sufficiently acknowledging population changes and developments when planning services, or looking at why changes have occurred. This looks like a good example of this.

This may also explain why such large cuts are occurring on the Greenwich line from 2015 whilst a very large number of developments are under construction and opening soon. TfL pay more attention to these issues, and this is just one of many reasons it’s a great shame they weren’t permitted to take control of southeastern’s suburban routes this year, and instead southeastern were given another 4 years.

The growth in passengers increases the squeeze to be felt from January 11th 2015, when during the evening rush hour 9 trains are cut to 6 between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. Crucially, the remaining 6 cannot be extended to increase capacity which reduces from 9500 passengers to 7500 passengers. Plans for substantial numbers of people displaced from the Greenwich line changing at Lewisham look hopeful as the station is already congested, and figures show substantial growth there over the past year, along with other lines serving it via Sidcup and Bexleyheath. In a further post I will collate figures for there and other stations.