Bexley Council wants Thameslink in Belvedere and Erith

Bexley Council leader Teresa O’Neill has written to Thameslink asking trains to stop at Erith and Belvedere that currently sail through.

She managed to get the train company that operates them wrong however, linking in Great Western Railway in a tweet rather than Thameslink.

This is an issue I’ve been covering for about three years on this site since plans announced. Why did Thameslink trains stop at every shack along the line except fast-growing Belvedere and Erith?


One major reason is that Thameslink has lots of padding built into the timetable along its route so that when it reaches the core section in central London it is not out of position. This does make it slow. A Southeastern train that stops at every station from Dartford to London Bridge is quicker than a Thameslink which skips Belvedere, Erith and Woolwich Dockyard.

Stations with a tenth of the number of annual passengers (like Northfleet) do however see stops.

Bexley Council for years seemed more concerned with a mythical Crossrail extension which is decades away at best. That was a no-starter.  Short term goals which are far more attainable such as having trains already running through call at stations were pretty much ignored.

Maybe they are finally waking up. They do have plans for 8,000 homes around Belvedere and an outlet shopping mall. It’s all pie in the sky stuff right now though.


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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.

13 thoughts on “Bexley Council wants Thameslink in Belvedere and Erith

  • Having seen 6 months of stupidity over a minor virus…..stupidity on common sense issues appears to be an everyday occurrance…so better to be positive and keep your fingers crossed

    • You have no idea about covid-19 do you Roy? Just read you comment and cannot believe you call it a minor virus.

      I lost a very dear friend and neighbour to Covid-19 and know many people who have tested positive to Covid-19. Myself like thousands upon thousands have seen our lives turned up side down being forced to work at home away from friends and colleagues. Or unable to see out loved ones.

      More and more people are being tested positive for Covid-19 with numbers rising every day. Sadly people are still losing their lives to Covid-19 every day I if people continue to ignore the wearing of mask and ignore social distancing we are heading for another major outbreak of Covid-19 over the winter that could see the Country locked down again amd more lives lost.

      Withe regard to Thameslink Yes I would have thought trains would now stop at Belvedere and Erith taking in to account the amount of new developments in the area with more developments in the planning.

  • This Thameslink service has too many stations as it is, I would advocate all stations if this service starts at Gravesend or Dartford but why should people on the Medway have a slower journey? It’s unreasonable, This service should call at less stations

  • @Roy – A *minor* virus?! Tell that to all the people who have are are still suffering from it or have lost loved ones to it!

    I suppose the Earth is also flat, the Moon is made of cheese, and there will actually be a positive outcome to Bexit.

  • This would be very welcome, considering that because of Thameslink we have very odd, up to 30mins, gaps in the timetable in Belvedere throughout the day. Belvedere and Erith are both fast growing and number of passengers are up year on year.

  • This reads more like PR stunt from O’Neill. Same action has been made by her in the past without any positive outcome. But let’s see.

    It would be much more interesting to see the Bexley Council leader push for the government to help the cause of the dlr extension but we don’t hear anything about that…

  • Or the Crossrail Kent extension for that matter

    • Probably not going to happen in the next couple of decades, what with TfL’s finances in the toilet, it’ll be 2050 at the earliest before work even gets started on the Gravesend extension

  • A DLR extension to Thamesmead Belvedere and Erith will be great but sadly due to the financial crisis at TFL may now not happen.

    Plans to re-route the 180 bus route to North Greenwich Station and extend the route to Erith Quarry via Erith Town Centre is also on hold. This may now not go ahead until Crissrail opens in 2022 or 2023 if work is forced to stop again due to another out break of Covid-19 this winter.

    • The 180 rerouting is a bad idea and shouldn’t happen, it’ll break long-standing links over creating a link that is 20 years too late, most people in Erith will head to Abbey Wood CrossRail and not trace across two boroughs for a tube.

      If anything maybe make a new route (480) that runs from Erith to NG and keep the 180 as Lewisham to Woolwich

      As for Thameslink stopping at Belvedere and Erith,
      Thameslink stops at too many stations as it is, it starts all the way out in Medway and falls at nearly every station given that it replaced a well used and popular semi fast service which called at key stations to Charing Cross.

      I would however support calling at Erith & Belvedere if other stations were dropped from The service.

    • By the time it opens, a DLR river crossing to Belvedere (from the Beckton branch) would be immediately redundant thanks to the Elizabeth Line, which would surely be operational by that time. Passengers wanting destinations on the west end of the DLR’s network would go to Canary Wharf from Abbey Wood instead and save at least 15 minutes over the slow, multi-stop DLR.

      An extension of the new Overground branch from Barking Riverside would be of much greater use, connecting Bexley and Barking & Dagenham by rail, opening up many job opportunities for those on either side of the river. It might even become easier to reach Barking town centre from lower Belvedere than to go to Bexleyheath (strictly on public transport).


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