Last September I blogged about the campaign against plans to terminate the service at Blackfriars by 2018, which would mean residents changing trains in order to continue their journey northwards. This threatened to adversely affect Sutton’s local economy or at least inhibit future additional investment.
After much campaigning the Department for Transport has now performed a U-turn by announcing that the Thameslink Loop Line will remain.
The line runs through the Sutton North ward including Sutton Common station.
This is a huge victory for the residents of Sutton and for people-power in general! It made no sense to cut off travellers from the city of London, Kings Cross St Pancras, Stansted and Luton airports.
The victory will also help Sutton’s ambitions to grow business in the borough and develop it as a retail centre to compete with Croydon and Kingston.
Sutton Council sent the DfT figures that prove Loop Line stations are carrying more passengers every year. In 2010/11, 5,768,694 passengers used Sutton station up1.4 per cent on the previous year, while West Sutton and Sutton Common also recorded rises of 8.5 per cent and 14.7 per cent respectively.
Other stations that recorded year-on-year rises included Carshalton, where passenger numbers rose by 3.6 per cent and Hackbridge which recorded a small rise of 0.7 per cent, but the submission stressed that significant development in Hackbridge will bring about an increased demand for rail services.
Cllr Lester Holloway