London Bridge work hits passenger numbers on Greenwich Southeastern line

Figures are out today showing passenger numbers at stations across the country in the year to January 2017. On the Greenwich Line there’s been a big hit on numbers due to ongoing London Bridge rebuilding work which has closed the line for extended periods and severely hit peak-time frequencies at certain stations.

The stretch from Greenwich to Charlton was hit hard by frequency reductions with long gaps of near 25 minutes in the evening peak compared to 10 minutes previously. This led to a big drop in available capacity.

Crossrail work has also had an impact though stations past zone 4 have held up ok given many stations have been closed up to 75% of weekends.

Abbey Wood has held up and I wonder if that’s because for the first time, those same Crossrail works meant entrance and exit could only occur by passing through barriers. Before that a second open entrance was in use day and night.

Woolwich Arsenal also held up. Large housebuilding probably helped here, and again it’s one of the few stations with barriers in use at all entrances and exits until 8pm.

On almost all other stations its still very easy to avoid paying with few barriers or staff at most stations which hampers accurate counts. One of TfL’s plans if given the line, now scrapped, was to quickly add staff and barriers to increase income and accurately measure passenger numbers.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

9 thoughts on “London Bridge work hits passenger numbers on Greenwich Southeastern line

  • Interesting. It seems that all stations except Slade Green, Belvedere and Abbey Wood have fewer numbers, and I’d agree with your reasoning for the latter. However, the numbers at Woolwich Arsenal have fallen, albeit not by too much, and I’d suggest that the reason is because the barriers aren’t in fact in use all day until 8pm. It’s common knowledge that the barriers are open at most times outside the peak travelling periods, and in addition, there’s a side gate on the London-bound platform that leads into the car park, from where anyone can escape without paying.

    The various train companies don’t help their cause by having information available on the National Rail website that allows people to ascertain whether stations have barriers or not. In fact, it’s very easy for people to travel all over the south-east of England for virtually nothing with a little bit of knowledge about the system. It can therefore be reasonably assumed that the number of people travelling is significantly higher than the figures above suggest. Surely any rail company with any sense would begin to install barriers and staff without any further delay.

  • Agree with Tim above. I travelled to Woolwich Arsenal from Charlton a couple and over half the passengers who got off went over the bridge, down onto the other platform and out through the side.

    They shouldn’t have bothered. All the barriers in the main hall were open

    • ‘….a couple of weeks ago…..’


    • Probably because it’s the most direct way to their destination not because they’re trying to cheat!

      • I agree Greenwich.Im pretty sure,myself included that must people are just taking a short cut and do pay.I don’t like the assumption that this isn’t the case.The main issue is Southeasterns understaffed stations.This will probably get even worse when the new franchise is awarded

      • What Chris is describing would mean people going out of their way to exit and adding on time so it can’t be because it’s more convenient.

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  • The Woolwich side door to the car park is shut almost all the time the main barriers are.

    As it is a step free disabled entrance to the London-bound trains, they open it when the staffing levels are too low to guarantee help is in the office, then shut it once bridge access and last trains to that platform have gone.

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