I sent this to the local newspaper – awaiting publication!
I agree with the sentiment, but not the facts, in the letter from R.M.E Childs (Timetable’s nonsense) published on June 10. The new timetable is very very badly thought out and appears to have been designed by a work experience kid with a spreadsheet and no common sense. The trains, more often than not, even exceed the longer (padded) published journey times, spending mile after excruciating mile crawling along at the approximate speed of a milk float (30 miles in one hour….the average speed is simple to calculate!).
However, the new 7:19 is far from empty. From Lingfield onwards the train is pretty full and there are many unhappy faces as commuters join the train at Oxted and search, in vain, for a seat. The 7:49 gets into London too late for a 9:00 start, unless you are lucky enough to work within a 10 minute walk of London Bridge, forcing more people onto the 7:19.
Please Southern, give us one express (East Grinstead – Oxted – East Croydon – London Bridge) that travels at a decent speed, leaving at a decent time (say 7:30 a.m). You would make a lot of people very happy and perhaps win some new customers!
I would be interested to know if readers can remember what the shortest scheduled journey time has been from East Grinstead to London Bridge. I am sure it was forty-something minutes in the early nineties – or maybe I am dreaming!
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