Tell me your story

Thousands of local residents are having their lives severely impacted by delays and cancellations brought on by the chaotic introduction of the new rail timetable.

I am compiling the views and experiences of local residents and will be presenting them to the Transport Secretary to show him the real impact the ongoing chaos is having on people’s lives.

How has the new timetable impacted you?

Showing 101 reactions

  • Louise Hart
    commented 2018-08-01 19:17:27 +0100
    It’s been a disaster. I live in Hackbridge and work in Farringdon and what used to be a simple 40 min direct commute is now a nightmare. There are far fewer services scheduled now, sometimes as few as one an hour, and even those are regularly cancelled. The trains are so unreliable, I’m currently travelling to work via bus and tube instead, taking almost 2 hours each way. It’s exhausting and having a significant impact on my home life and wellbeing. I’ve seriously considered quitting my job just because of the disastrous train so called ‘service’. It’s been months now, HOW CAN THIS STILL BE GOING ON?!
  • Andrew Murray
    commented 2018-07-05 10:28:37 +0100
    Me I have not been on training for many years as I can only go out when my wife home in the car , but one my friend commutes to Victoria Monday to Friday and there’s not that much space , I know this is an annual ticket and how much it cost for this service, where the timetable is having an impact on my friend but I could not believe how much he pays One year annual for this service the timetables been up and down and I think we are one of the most expensive for travelling on train but I could be quite wrong , because on the Internet can be very confusing ? One day with my health improves I hope that I could rely on trains being on time and also to have a seat to sit on , what Tom Brake MP – Is a very good For Community & St Helier Hospital is outstanding , and also my wife was born at this hospital back in 1969 , keep up the good work andy Murray
  • Charles O’Donnell
    commented 2018-06-29 15:48:37 +0100
    Oh Tom

    The new timetable seems to be the same as the old in terms of service delivery – very poor. I think it’s more of a tactical timetable so they can cancel trains normally the 57 to Victoria and the 02 to London Bridge without incurring as many penalties for late running service.

    I’m currently on a Carshalton bound service which I’ve found more reliable despite having to walk 15 mins back from Carshalton to Wallington ( I’ve convinced myself I enjoy the walk and the scenery walking past the pond )

    Now this train I’m on is down to the fact that 1; the 15.16 back to wallington- 3 minutes after departure time decided to announce there is a problem with 2 of the carriages doors not operating so they had to try and rectify. The announcement said this will take 10-15 minutes and the train was now fast to West Croydon ( presumably running behind another slow running service ) and once you arrive At Croydon almost certainly you will be told it’s fast to Sutton. If they were not so fast to clear departure boards they would have been able to provide the information that the 15.05 to Epsom ( which runs via mitcham junction ) was still waiting to leave, so I could have got that instead. It’s tactical information giving a bit like the media so I’m guessing this way of misleading people is just a thing now ?

    Currently stuck a red signal ( 3rd of this journey) awaiting a path back to Carshalton. Already 10 mins behind schedule.
  • Keely Hayes
    commented 2018-06-26 18:18:10 +0100
    So Tom. It’s only Tuesday. Three of my trains cancelled this week – due no crew member being available. This morning and now once again the 18.10 from London Bridge. Southern not bothered. They get away with it time and time again. More or less shrugging their shoulders at government and at the long suffering passengers. Why should a train company actually provide trains. Southern certainly don’t.
  • Keely Hayes
    commented 2018-06-25 18:33:39 +0100
    I have lost count the number of times in the morning that the fast 8.32 from Wallington to London Bridge arrives after the slow 8.37. The 8.10 London bridge to Wallington cancelled on regular basis “Due to a member of train crew being unavailable” Why. They have had long enough to recruit new drivers. Then passengers for earlier train all  crammed onto one train. Tempers flare because of the incompetence of Southern. 

    Stuck as

     No longer able to catch any fast train to Norwood junction to pick up train from there. 

    I’ve been travelling to London for 20 years. The last few have been appalling. How do they keep getting away with it. It is so awful after rushing to station to see cancellation after cancellation. With nothing being done about it. The new timetable adds at least 20 minutes to my journey. I cannot plan evening events because of unreliable and appalling service. Nothing will ever be done because we have to use the trains when and indeed if they arrive.
  • Gina Davis Holton
    commented 2018-06-21 11:46:25 +0100
    I’m writing again this week Tom!! This week has got worse than ever I feel we are going the opposite way the service has become non existant the st Albans train in the morning!!!

    I have been talking to a lot of people at the station as I’m very sociable and been traveling on this line for a long time and people are becoming very worried about their jobs, how’s it’s affected there time, picking up kids etc a lot of people I’ve been showing them how to claim but getting back £2.50 to £3.00 is just not good enough anymore.

    Why should we have to leave earlier look for alternate routes some of us are to old for all this and can’t manage tube etc

    What are we going to do Tom…..
  • Paul Warrick
    commented 2018-06-20 11:07:41 +0100
    I travel from Carshalton Beeches and I think the service has (mostly) improved travelling into London in the morning. I now have an extra London Bridge Train and there are now no slow trains via Crystal Palance. Travelling back in the evening is not so good – there are still a lot of cancellations.

    I would like to raise two other issues:

    1] WHY NO STEP FREE ACCESS COMING INTO CARSHALTON BEECHES TRAVELLING FROM EAST !! We have young children and we have to carry buggy up the steps when travelling on train … and what about he elderly and disabled passengers? it’s not good enough.

    2] Why are the TOILETS CLOSED at Carshalton Beeches? … they claim to be “open” but you have to go and ask for a key to use them … ridiculous.
  • Helen Drewery
    commented 2018-06-18 21:01:11 +0100
    I travel to work from Sutton to St Pancras (or, when things go wrong, via the hell that is Victoria in the morning rush hour). It was bad before the timetable change (breakdowns, cancellations, signal failures), but since the timetable change it has been significantly worse. I try each evening to check whether my 08:16 train the following morning will run, but that seems to be no guarantee. On Friday last week, for instance, I had only half a day in the office, before travelling to an important meeting in Birmingham, so it mattered a lot what time I got in. The 08:16 seemed to be running, even being on the board when I got to platform 1. But then the announcement came that it was cancelled and we were invited to go to platform 2 where the 08:19 slow train would shortly depart. The slow train never appeared on any departure lists, having apparently been cancelled, but did in fact run.
  • Jeannette Crosier
    commented 2018-06-17 22:37:26 +0100
    + Carshalton to Victoria: positive because of fast train at 07.05, brilliant!

    - Victoria Station notice boards: somebody has decided to put the departure times of the fast trains to Carshalton (and further) on the LEFT hand side of the board together with the SouthEastern trains (platforms 1 to 6) and not in chronological order with all the other trains going South anymore. Explanation of station staff: it’s a Thameslink train. WHAT A STUPID DECISION!!!! It took people some days before finding out and the trains left Victoria station EMPTY !! Us commuters we know the trick now but anybody new (a visitor wanting to go South) will not know and be confused because the train is listed on the Southern app but not on Victoria station’s board – very confusing. I hope I was able to explain the problem well enough. AND last but not least the best is: those trains are Southern trains, in their colour and it even says Southern on them but the announcement on the train is "Welcome to the Thamslink train going to… " Stupid, stupid, stupid and totally confusing!
  • Clare Goggin
    commented 2018-06-15 15:49:52 +0100
    I travel Monday to Friday via Thameslink from Carshalton to Farringdon and can only say that the service since 20 May has been absolutely appalling. I can get a train at either 06.19 or 06.49 and after those times it’s an unbelievable 1.5 hour wait until the next direct train at 08.19. Coming home in the evening can only be described as a lottery. I check on-line before leaving the office to see if the train is on time/running and all too frequently find that it’s been cancelled in the 10 mins between leaving the office and getting to Farringdon. I am seeing a very real impact on staff in my company (c. 60 employees) who are arriving at work stressed and invariably late because of Thameslink and Southern delays and cancellations. And all this on trains which are hugely overcrowded. Many of my staff are incurring costs, myself included, in having to get across town via the tube to Victoria to seek alternative routes home. There is a very real impact on families as non-work time is eroded, and also a financial cost to bear with additional childcare fees payable when parents are late. Needless to say, running late to collect your children is incredibly stressful in itself. From a business perspective, productivity is definitely reduced as staff arrive late and leave early and we are also having to allow additional non-productive time in travelling to meetings and to visit clients. The irony is that Thameslink were providing a very reliable and frequent service in the 6 months prior to the timetable change. These days, and this is not getting any better, my first task on waking is to check on-line and assess how long it’s likely to take to get into central London. I feel worn out and demoralised by the entire situation …..
  • Pamela Bloxham
    commented 2018-06-14 16:55:21 +0100
    No, but last year my granddaughter came to stay. She was at Loughborough University. She needed to get back to Loughborough to present her dissitation. The first train from Hackbridge was cancelled, the second train was cancelled and all the ticket office operative could say was that she would no longer be able to use her cheap ticket as she had “missed” her connection! He was surly, uncooperative and rude.
  • Catherine Fuller
    commented 2018-06-14 13:54:41 +0100
    As a traveller from Carshalton Beeches, since the new timetable was introduced my commute to London Bridge and Victoria has vastly improved with more services throughout the day both directions. And believe it or not, a couple of times actually ran 1 minute early!! New and air conditioned trains and more carriages. Prior to that I had a nightmare journey time – many services cancelled at short notice both ways and having to take 3 trains to get home or go via Morden tube and bus!! . I always applied for compensation, but the online compensation system does not seem fit for purpose especially as Im an Oyster Card holder. I feel for those commuters who live further out (Gatwick, Redhill and Brighton areas) who have no option and bus replacement – has Chris Grayling actually travelled on those??. As an observation on staffing at various stations and reading the online forums, it seems communication again between platform staff to give out information is another issue here. How about Southern giving refreshment vouchers at time of delay for delays especially in winter as an automatic ?? And treating disabled customers with more respect and understanding – there should at the very least, be some provision to prioritise their journey home. Chris Grayling needs to spend a week travelling on these services and not hiding in his ivory tower!!
  • Stuart Courtney
    commented 2018-06-14 10:55:52 +0100
    As a regular traveller but as a retired person, the new timetable hasn’t affected me at all as the trains tend to have more carriages and I can get a seat.
  • Brian Burdon
    commented 2018-06-14 09:46:26 +0100
    To be fair to Southern my journey from Carshalton Beeches to West Croydon is now better since the changes. There are more trains and moving the Overground trains at West Croydon to a different platform means Southern trains now regularly arrive and leave on time whereas before literally every train was late to some degree while they turned around the Overground trains.
  • Anna wojtowicz
    commented 2018-06-14 09:42:30 +0100
    I wonder does anybody use commpn sense? Make sure that trains are long during rush hours, no first class! Have enough trains during rush hours 7-9 and 17-19. The service can be reduced outside rush hours, but no during busy times. Spend sone time researching- how many people use main station and what time and then allocate resources.
  • Janet Kiff
    commented 2018-06-14 09:37:28 +0100
    I am retired and don’t commute but my family and I had a hideous experience with the Southern dispute, two years ago next month. Family wedding in Portsmouth, 6 adults, including bride’s mother, 5 children travelling, one in pushchair, a supposedly straight -through journey of less than 2 hours turned into over 3 hours, two unscheduled changes then train terminated again unscheduled, at Portsmouth Southsea not Portsmouth Harbour. Total nightmare, late for wedding, Passengers just treated as cattle and collateral damage in an idealogical dispute.
  • Nick Cripps
    commented 2018-06-14 09:22:00 +0100
    Even more frustrating, trains are as bad as ever, if they are late they cut out stations and as i get on at Mitcham we always seem to be missed, going and coming to work the trains are still overloaded and normally there are no seats and you stand nose to nose with other passengers, there seem to be many platform staff but all they do is chat to each other, overall the train service for the last 2 years has been completely unacceptable, as for the compensation scheme could they make it any more long winded to claim money back
  • Gina Davis Holton
    commented 2018-06-14 08:57:54 +0100
    Has not been great the new times are not good I travel some weeks 6 days on the st Albans train to Farringdon from Carshalton most days either cancelled trains or delays it’s been dreadful and now the new times I’ve had to say I’m going to be 5mins late in everyday and I’m the manager lol!

    I did meet the manager the week before the timetable started at farringdon I think the man nearly cried he couldn’t answer any of my questions he gave me a few free coffee vouchers!!!!

    1 why did you take our money extend platforms at Carshalton Mitcham Hackbridge etc yet we have never seen 12 carriages?

    2 how are you going to cope with the extra passengers with all the new flats at hackbridge elephant as I don’t see any extra trains on this route or carriage

    Etc etc etc

    He told me that there would be no congestion on it would run smoothly!!!!!!!
  • Marie Thomas
    commented 2018-06-14 08:41:33 +0100
    The Thameslink trains to Farringdon in the mornings are terrible. Continually trains are dropped from the schedule. It’s meant we taking the train to London Bridge and then another train from there. I end up leaving the house earlier but getting to work later, missing out on precious time with my little ones. They really need to get these problems fixed. We were supposed to be getting a more frequent service but it’s got worse than it ever was!
  • Alexis Hille
    commented 2018-06-14 07:32:49 +0100
    Since the change my commuting options have been limited drastically. I used to have a fairly pleasant and, when everything ran, convenient commute between Carshalton Beeches and City Thameslink, via Sutton. Now, there is no Thameslink service available at a sensible time – only one leaving far too early (before 7am) when there is no quick connection between my station and Sutton, and one leaving far too late (7.46am). I tried driving to Morden and taking the tube, but it was a disaster with the traffic. Now my only option is to take an earlier Victoria-bound train from Carshalton Beeches, which for some reason is one of the very old stock (uncomfortable seats, no tables, no air conditioning – not conducive to working!) and to fight through the scrum at Clapham Junction to catch a train to Waterloo. I have a much bigger problem at the end of the day, when I need to leave to pick up the kids. I can’t use the Thameslink any more so I need to rush over to Victoria everyday to take an old stock, slow train which is often delayed. Without wanting to sound dramatic, if I’d known this would be my commute I’m not sure we would have chosen to move here in the first place. It would be much simpler if we lived outside of London and commuted in on a proper train line, with a shorter journey, better stock and a more reliable service.
  • Nicholas White
    commented 2018-06-13 23:40:20 +0100
    The new timetable from Carshalton Beeches is brilliant. More trains regularly and the London Bridge trains rerstored throughout the day. So far punctuality has improved greatly too – keep up the good work.
  • Chris Ritchie
    commented 2018-06-13 23:37:27 +0100
    The constant last minute cancellations on the ThamesLink line from St Heliers to Blackfriars has forced me to reconsider my options for public transport when commuting to work. I’m required to wake 30 minutes earlier and walk to the Northern Line Tube at Morden. My commute has been extended by 30 minutes getting into town and 30 minutes out of town which reduces the amount of time I am able to spend with my young son – some nights I don’t even get to see him due to the change in route.
  • Anne MacMillan
    commented 2018-06-13 23:02:12 +0100
    We are really so fed up with the cancellations and delays we suffer when trying to get into

    London from East Croydon and also trying to get to Sussex. Not acceptable. What does one do ? If you have high blood pressure trying to visit loved ones is NOT GOOD , TRUST US !!!! We pay highly for a service that does not live up to expectations. Enough is enough!!!
  • Jonathan Marsden
    commented 2018-06-13 22:57:10 +0100
    Ocasional broken rail aside, the improved service and journey times from Wallington is much appreciated. Direct fast through the day trains to London Bridge has had the magic effect of moving Wallington closer to London – very welcome. Also the new fast trains to Sutton from VIC are excellent. Appreciate that this isn’t everyone’s experience but I think we need to acknowledge that not everything about the new timetable is bad.
  • Tony van Emst
    commented 2018-06-13 22:13:53 +0100
    My commute is unfortunately with Thameslink. Ever since the 21st May, every morning is a lottery to see which trains are actually shown on the timetable, with a significant proportion cancelled with very little notice. Even when services are shown to run, by the time you get to the station, it is often cancelled. This obviously causes significant delays and inconvenience to get to work. Honestly, I have never experienced such a shambles following a rail timetable change. The worst of all this that it is now coming up for a month since the change and if anything it is getting worse, not better. I cannot understand why someone is not being held accountable for this mess. As a fare paying passenger, I am being taken advantage of, have no means of redress, and feel cheated by this abysmal service without any sign from the train company of any improvement or even acknowledgement of the serious problems for us passengers.
  • Christopher Roche
    commented 2018-06-13 21:55:36 +0100
    Not at all I have been up to town twice recently, on the platform the inspector said that the changes were all over the media radio and papers and indeed I had previously heard announcements on both BR and underground so no excuse for not knowing about the changes to times.

  • Laura Rowland
    commented 2018-06-13 21:40:02 +0100
    The service is horrendous. I moved house to an area in the borough recently. I carefully researched regarding services from the local station – the new timetable now does not run direct services to the London Station I need. My commute is now 2 hours long and makes my week miserable.

    Services are late or cancelled with no notice. We pay an extortionate amount of money to be treated worse than animals off for slaughter.

    The years of dealing with rubbish train service in this area needs to stop.
  • Dean Vincent
    commented 2018-06-13 21:37:07 +0100
    While the reschedule provides a slightly better advantage in getting to Victoria, there seems to be a number of cancellations. The journey now take 44 minutes instead of 36 and never arrives on time.
  • Alison Dadswell
    commented 2018-06-13 21:36:48 +0100

    I was travelling on the 6.48 from Carshalton Beeches 4 days a week (sometimes with you Tom), which generally ran ok, it had its moments but we had new trains, with WiFi etc.

    Now my train runs 4 minutes earlier, is generally at least 5 or more minutes late by the time we get to Victoria (often sits outside West Croydon for 5 mins or so), so on average I’ve lost 10minutes every morning. In addition I’ve yet to see a “new” train on the up journey, and rarely on the return, which means that working on the train is much more difficult, no table, no WiFi , plus no toilets, no coat hooks, no luggage racks etc etc. Where have all the new trains gone!

    In addition I’ve only seen them manage all 4 of the re-timetabled trains per hour once or twice since the timetable changed. Mine has been cancelled a number of times already. My time keeping at work has suffered big time, unlike one of the commentators below, some of us have no choice but to catch trains in rush hour. In theory 4 trains an hour from the Beeches should be great , but the chances of Southern delivering that consistently is minimal .

    I spoke to a cab driver at Sutton the other day, he was expecting to make a big loss this year, due in large part to the number of cancelled trains at night. The night before I used his cab, he told me the last 5 trains had been cancelled, so apart from no one getting home, all the cab drivers were sat at Sutton waiting for trains that never came.
  • Alexander Connolly
    commented 2018-06-13 21:34:13 +0100
    hello there. I am sorry I am unable to give any experiences of travelling on the trains. as I am retired I have not used the trains for years. but I can understand the frustrations of the travelling public. your doing grand job. alex and sheila Connolly.