Are people giving up on the train in Eltham?

After my coverage of passenger growth (or otherwise) on the Woolwich and  Greenwich line recently I’ll take a look today at the Eltham line, and in particular a stark fall in usage at Eltham – which has traditionally been one of the busiest stations in south east London.

Last year the numbers using the station dropped by 7.4%. All the usual caveats apply as they did in the other post; London Bridge rebuild would have had a sizable effect.

The old London Bridge station

Yet stations further down the line such as Welling averaged 2-4% reductions as may be expected with continual weekend closures over the period covered. Kidbrooke was down 3% and Bexleyheath 4%.

New London Bridge – completed (well, almost…) January 2018

Barnehurst saw the lowest fall at 0.8%.

Perhaps people in Eltham instead switched to the Jubilee Line at North Greenwich given it’s just one bus ride away?

Have you given up on Southeastern? you can leave a comment below.


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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.

16 thoughts on “Are people giving up on the train in Eltham?

  • I think it’s more like southeastern have given up on us!

  • I started cycling into the city most days this year, and only get the train if it’s really wet or if I’m drinking. I feel much healthier, don’t have to put up with delayed, cramped, overheating trains in the summer and coughing people in the winter and save a bunch of money at the same time!

  • It’s a long bus ride from Eltham to North Greenwich and is not the obvious alternative.

    • I agree, North Greenwich can be an hours ride away with traffic. It is not really an alternative.

  • If you’ve tried getting a train from eltham, you’ll ŕealize how overly busy it is. I would ask how the data is collected because more than likely – its the ticket barriers which are always open and they’re not counting passengers correctly! Even at 9am you might not get a seat!!

    • Not sure where this data comes from. Eltham station is busy every single time I use it whether leaving from it or arriving. Where does the data comes from? Maybe southeastern trains wanting to cancel more services and using a drip as a reason? Eltham continues to be an overly busy station. It’s aweful to commute at peak times and trains are often not working on Sundays

  • South Eastern’s service is awful. I stopped getting the train from Eltham in January and rode my bicycle in to London Bridge every day I can (it works out quicker than getting the train even before you factor in delays). I still occasionally get the train, but I try to avoid it whenever possible.

  • If people use “The Key” instead of debit/credit cards they seem not to tap in at Eltham but only at the London destination. And same coming back. I do as well. Maybe that messes up the passanger figures at Eltham. It is defineatly crowded in peak hours.

  • I too cycle. Door to door it takes less time, I’m always on time and it is free.

    The cycle route to central London isn’t too bad:
    Rochester way
    Over Blackheath
    Through Greenwich park
    Creek Road to depford
    Lower Road/evelyn St to
    Tooley Street.
    Over London Bridge and I’m in the City
    Most of the route has cycle paths or is using bus lanes

    From my house in Eltham to my office in the City it takes 45mins.

    After five years of doing this, I’ve never looked back!

  • Very interested in where you got those stats from?

    • Office of Rail and Road regulation (ORR) There’s a link in the article

  • The gates are often open so not everyone with a season ticket taps in and out so might skew the figures. The 132 bus from Greenwich North is very unreliable as drivers keep going off for breaks. No alternative to the train really but some trains not stopping at Lewisham is annoying.

  • I’ve heard some people cycle to lewisham and take the DLR. So that may be having an impact.

  • I don’t know why anyone would switch to the jubilee line (cost maybe) but the 132 bus service is often terrible and the journey can take 40 mins!

  • Hahahahaha! One of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time is when TfL decided to decrease the frequency of the 161. Right now, I ride the 161 to the DLR, as do a good many others, and after the cluserf#%* with the CrossRail is sorted, a great many more will be riding that! So, good luck with that decreased schedule!
    That Mong Chris Grayscale (sic) is wholly responsible for the mess we’re in, and the failure of the Southeastern Line to retain riders! (Two Fingers Up yours!)


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