As Chairman of the Thameslink Loop Line Campaign Group I have just written to Theresa Villiers, Minister of State for Transport. In my letter I have asked her to clarify a statement that she made last year that no decision has yet been made on the way Wimbledon loop services will operate after the completion of the Thameslink Programme.
The Loop Line through service is a long established service that is used daily by hundreds of Sutton commuters and it would be a huge loss if this service was cut. People from Sutton and elsewhere in South London use the service to get to work in the City and central
Misled by Network Rail
Despite consulting local people on the South London Route Utilisation Strategy in 2008 the final version of Network Rail’s consultation report didn’t explicitly contain proposals to cut our direct route to Luton Airport off at Blackfriars. These came out of the blue in the final report.
Time to act is now
There are mixed messages about the future of the Loop Line coming from Network Rail and the Government. Theresa Villiers MP, Minister of State for Transport has said that no decision has yet been made on the way
But is there an alternative?
Yes there is. It is my understanding that this proposal has been made for operational reasons due to the track re-configuration at Blackfriars, but that it will still be technically possible to run through trains from the Loop Line.
What is the Thameslink Loop Line Campaign Group?
The Thameslink Loop Line Campaign Group is a new lobby group that has formed to represent the interests of passengers using the Sutton / Wimbledon Loop Line of the Thameslink network. The group is made up of passenger groups, Councillors, local MPs and GLA Members as well as senior officers of the London Boroughs on the Loop Line.
The primary aim of the group is to campaign to retain cross-London services on the Loop Line after the completion of the Thameslink Programme. We are extremely worried by the proposals to cut off our Loop Line services at London Blackfriars and London Bridge after 2016.