Southeastern stations: Few staff, unsafe and all but abandoned

Government cuts to rail services are becoming ever more apparent as daily short-staffing across the Southeastern network reaches ever high levels.

In recent weeks this site has covered daily issues with no staff at dozens of stations at Government-run Southeastern as the Department for Transport and The Treasury push through ever deeper cuts.

Woolwich Arsenal station often open

Recent weeks have shown the reality of the situation, as stations at busy towns see no staff presence.

Southeastern Metro is also Driver-Operated-Only (DOO) which means no routine staffing on trains unlike in many areas of the country.

Greenwich station: Popular with tourists. Staffing is limited at best

Daily checks online show no staff at busy stations within London every day. For months. Today there were issues at 61 stations with most being a lack of staff.

Many stations in inner London remain unstaffed on a daily basis. Others in areas of major growth havn’t changed with the times as Southeastern and its government paymasters appear clueless abut new developments and population change.

New homes beside station. Changing areas; Unchanged station staffing

I expect details on how scarcely staffed many station are will shortly be taken offline given the embarrassing nature of how cuts are impacting passengers. It also shows people where they can avoid paying – which on Southeastern Metro is the majority of stations.

As a regular user of SE Metro over the years I’ve been at unstaffed stations during medical emergencies, fights, assaults and just about everything else. It’s so much worse than TfL, Greater Anglia, c2c and others.

I’ve had glass bottles thrown at me without a soul about during the day at busy stations where there’s no staff to help.

Lord knows it’s one way to put people off using public transport.

Open barriers at Lewisham

And while Southeastern – particularly stations within London on the metro network – have long been a forgotten afterthought, the situation is incredibly becoming even more neglected.

For those passengers who need assistance such as disabled passengers, or tourists, it’s shameful how they won’t find much help at many, many stations.

In contrast, if you don’t want to pay for travel the network is ever more open for free travel. No station staff and none on board? Fill your boots.


Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

You can support me via Paypal here

Another option is via Patreon by clicking here

You can also buy me a beer/coffee at Ko-fi here

There's also a Facebook page for the site here

Many thanks

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.

7 thoughts on “Southeastern stations: Few staff, unsafe and all but abandoned

  • The only people who pay for the average short hop are those who’ve never used them before so don’t know you can get away with it 999 out of a thousand (that’s low odds – it’s every time)

  • Unstaffed stations with people in financial stress could unfortunately lead to a massive raise in suicides!

  • The new beam trains also have no on board toilets ‘supposedly to allow for more seats’. With a medical condition I was advised by SE Trains to use station toilets (even though they were unable to provide a full list of opening hours of when stations are staffed and toilets are unlocked – they advised check the website daily. Well, firstly this means I must be expected to get off the train and on again a next one if toilet is needed and if ticket offices are on the whole closing is this the end of any toilets for Metro customers at all?!?! Thameslink manage to provide amazingly clean trains and toilets on the whole – if they won’t give Metro to TfL give it to Thameslink. On Woolwich open barriers is a joke – have they not noticed the amount of knives and knife arch requirements happen at this station?! I feel sorry for police there interrupted by non police matters having to do part of SE job.

  • South Eastern Metro should be run by TFL and Stations should have staff as they do on the Overground.
    However I don’t agree with some of your other comments. Driver only operation works successfully on the Overground, the Tube, Thameslink, Elizabeth Line, Newcastle Metro and on SBahn and UBahn lines throughout Germany. There is absolutely no evidence that Thameslink trains from Brighton to London are less safe than SouthWestern trains with guards. Nowhere in Europe do Metro trains have toilets. No TFL trains have toilets.

  • I recently ordered and paid for a South Eastern disabled ticket to be collected at my local station. The machine would not issue the ticket. Luckily the ticket office was open and so I was able to collect it. The lady in the office said that there were often problems with the machine. I don’t look forward to the ticket offices being closed.

  • I remember going to Brighton about ten years ago and decided to use the train, which meant going up to London bridge and back out. The ticket office staff joked ” I assume you don’t want Thameslink?” And they were bad back then.

    Now though I am thankful for the Luton to Rainham service and choose it over southeastern where possible. I’ve yet to even board a second hand city beam, our line seems to still mostly have decrepit networkers which unsurprisingly break down regularly, stranding you at various places.

  • Hopefully southeastern will lose the route into kent soon, thieves at margate station,train staff letting the scrotes ride without a ticket,and not doing anything,why repeatedly checking customers who have payed over £7000 for there ticket. Over packed trains. Fingers crossed they get kicked out soon


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.