Southeastern to enact cuts on Bromley North shuttle services

Rail services on the Bromley North shuttle to Grove Park are to see cuts impacting the morning peak period from June.

Currently trains run every 20 minutes during the morning peak from 7-10am before reverting to every half an hour.

From the June timetable change this becomes limited to between 7-8am with half-hourly frequencies after.

The evening peak will however see better connection times for those meeting the shuttle at Grove Park. Bromley Council are portraying this as a win for them – while not mentioning  morning cuts. 

The Bromley North shuttle ferries passengers to the mainline at Grove Park for onward connections. Reducing frequencies not only results in a longer wait but a greater chance of additional wait times for connections.

Superloop SL3 now calls at Bromley North

Bromley North does now have an express bus in the Superloop route SL3. Perhaps Southeastern see that as a rationale for cuts.

Superloop route SL3 is timetabled to reach Bickley station in eight minutes during the peak and Chislehurst station in 12 minutes.

Bromley North has always been more sparsely used than Bromley South though a few developments are now underway around it. Housing was approved at the end of 2023 for an adjacent car park while Purelake are also currently constructing homes nearby.

June changes

Southeastern Metro services are seeing a number of changes from June.

A 10-week closure of the Blackheath rail tunnel will see trains through Greenwich station temporarily boosted back to what they were before 2022 cuts.

While that will then reduce, remaining service spacings are improved reducing long intervals.

Abbey Wood station

Parts of north Kent do however lose services to Abbey Wood for direct connections to the Elizabeth line as Gravesend trains to London are diverted to the Bexleyheath line.

However, those services from Gravesend via Abbey Wood were spaced three minutes apart from Thameslink resulting in 27 minute gaps.

Intervals will be better spaced between Dartford and Abbey Woo from June.

A lot of this juggling could be alleviated by reversing December 2022 cuts but the Department for Transport – who control Southeastern – seem reluctant to do so.

Bromley North users can now reach Abbey Wood on one limited-stop bus, though even given the limited nature of it the time taken means I can’t see anyone really bothering.


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    6 thoughts on “Southeastern to enact cuts on Bromley North shuttle services

    • Interesting, what’s anyone’s thoughts of TfL taking over the shuttle service to connect the last SL service, from Canary Wharf to Grove Park, to Bromley North?

      • I think TFL should take over the shuttle service to provide better connections mentioned by D. (Canary Wharf/Grove Park/Bromley North)
        I thought the idea was to have better integrated transport services improving connections between trains, buses etc.. To make for improved journeys and journey times.

    • The saving must surely be minimal as it is operated by one train and one driver. This just means that he will be doing nothing for an extra ten minutes at each end between 8am and 10am.

    • TfL should take the service over, Bromley need that connection with the overground, since they have added Lewisham on the southeastern service to Grove Park, it can be a hit or miss getting the connection from Grove Park to Bromley North, either you wait for 30mins or get a bus if the connection is missed.

    • I think TfL will take over the line, rip out the tracks and make it a dedicated busway for the Superloop 4 which will be Bromley to Canary Wharf, thereby linking SL4 with SL3 and SL5. It is the only plan for the line that makes long term sense.

      • Very very doubtful this even makes sense. To put in this level of up front capital costs to then, in effect, downgrade this line and reduce the capacity of this route to a road that will then barely get used. Poor strategic outline business case.


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