CAMPAIGNERS have launched a petition in a bid to save a popular morning commuter train service to the City.
Battle MP Greg Barker, Hastings MP Amber Rudd and the East Sussex Rail Alliance are urging train operator Southeastern to ‘Save the 06.39’ service and keep it running to Cannon Street.
Leaving Ore at 6.30am, this is the most popular service with commuters catching this train at stations from Crowhurst to Stonegate.
Southeastern is consulting on its draft January, 2015 – August 2016 timetable, and is proposing that the 06.39 Ore to Cannon Street be diverted to Charing Cross during that time, not calling at London Bridge.
This is due to the re-build of London Bridge Station between 2015-2018 which will necessitate the diversion of certain Southeastern peak-time commuter trains away from Cannon Street.
Mr Barker said: “I am determined to speak up for local commuters.
“The important link to Cannon Street must be retained during the extended rebuilding work at London Bridge Station.
“Local commuters from Crowhurst, Battle, Robertsbridge, Etchingham, Stonegate and even Wadhurst need this service to reach their jobs in the City of London.
“Any changes would create huge difficulties for them unless they can get into the heart of the City so I’m disappointed that Southeastern are considering diverting this service to Charing Cross.
“I will be campaigning hard to push the Department of Transport and Southeastern to find an alternative solution that doesn’t affect the 06.39 service.”
Ray Chapman, chairman of East Sussex Rail Alliance, said: “This is an incredibly popular service with commuters across this stretch of the South East.
“The support from numerous MPs including Greg Barker and Amber Rudd shows just how important this service is to local residents.
“With it being one of only three morning services that terminate at Cannon Street, and at the more popular time of 08:30, it seems unwise to be suggesting that this service is diverted to Charing Cross with no stop at London Bridge.
“I fully support the petition that has been launched and urge all commuters to sign up and show their support.”
To sign the petition, visit www.gregorybarker.com and be a part of the movement to save the 06.39.
The deadline to sign this petition is Friday February 7.
Mike Gibson, spokesman for Southeastern, said: “As a result of the Thameslink construction work, from January 2015 the seven lines through London Bridge will reduce to four, and platforms 4, 5 and 6 at there will close until the end of August 2016.
“Therefore Charing Cross services will not be able to stop at London Bridge during this period.
“Only Cannon Street trains will be able to stop at London Bridge.
“Cannon Street already operates at full capacity during the peak and therefore other trains which operate to that station must be diverted to Charing Cross.”