Merton councillors' station closures warning amid Thameslink Wimbledon loop service
The closure of south London train stations would be “fiercely opposed” by councillors if controversial plans to make services terminate at Blackfriars station are approved next year.
Merton Council leader, Stephen Alambritis, has written to the Government’s new Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP, to relay the opposition to the plans from all four the borough’s political parties.
In a cross-party motion, passed at a full council meeting the Civic Centre on September 12, states it would be “unfair” on residents of Wimbledon and Morden to lose their direct services to stations beyond Blackfriars on the so-called Wimbledon loop.
In a letter to Mr McLoughlin, Councillor Alambritis wrote: “To this end, I have been mandated by the motion to write to both yourself and the Chief Executive of Network Rail to express the concerns among our community about the possibility of losing this important service.
“We are also resolved to resist any attempts to use the consultation proposal to justify closure of any stations.”
Hundreds of people have backed a petition against the plans as the Government consults on a new seven-year Thameslink franchise, with recommendations trains serving Merton on the Wimbledon loop should terminate early.
A consultation by the Department of Transport had finished on Friday, September 14.
At a public meeting one month ago , the department’s head of franchising, Roger Jones, said no decisions had yet been made and said the opposition against the plans had been “heard very loud and very clear."