Yesterday, her Royal Highness visited Bromley and I am pleased to report that Southeastern stepped up to the challenge of provided extra capacity for those wishing to witness the royal visit. This came in the form of a 4 carriage networker (465) which greeted me along with the Union Jack hanging from Yum-Yum's section of the glorious Bromley North station building as a waited to catch one of the last buses before the high street blockade.
A couple of days a go I noticed that the latest passenger figure for the UK's stations had somewhat sneaked past me when it was released in January, However having analyzed the 2010-11 figure I am pleased to report that Bromley North has emerged from 'passenger recession (!)' following the financial crises of 2008 with a growth figure compared to 2009-10 of 3.18%- which is classified in my table as 'green' growth. Unfortunately Sundridge Park's passenger figure has shrunk again by -6.17% from last year- this 'yellow' not-growth brings down the branch line's figure to -0.13% which is also 'yellow' not-growth.
Like all businesses, governments and heritage railways this website blames lack of growth in the last few years on the financial crisis of 2008. And like all the aforesaid organizations we have have good reason to do so- the financial crisis resulted in many people losing their jobs and if a Bromley North/ Sundridge Park- London commuter no longer has a job in central London he probably won't need to go there. The recent green growth of Bromley North gives hope but negative growth at Sundridge Park has increased.
Once again the Bromley North branch line features in the timetable change poster and while December 2011 poster announced the branch's new status of a 3tph railway (barring sundays) this one informs the public that the branches peak timings have been altered to give better connections- the website press release reads as follows:
"Train services between Grove Park, Sundridge Park and Bromley North have been retimed to give better connections at Grove Park during Monday to Friday evening peak periods"
However, On reviewing both of the timetables I found that only the evening peak trains had been re timed- a total of 6 Grove Park- Bromley North trains. The 1657, 1717, 1803, 1823, 1845 and 1908 departures from Grove Park will leave instead at 1700, 1720, 1805, 1825, 1845 & 1910 respectively with their connection train running at the same time as normal. To put it bluntly- it makes the train later. However I noticed that all the trains which were changed had a four minute or under connection time before- four minutes being the 'Recommended minimum connecting time' which Is grossly over-exaggerated- the average agile commuter could make it over that footbridge in under a minute but the disabled and eldery ect. must count even though they probably wouldn't be making the commute. The times were changed because they technically weren't a connection- which I suppose could count as 'better connections.'
Next time Sunday Services?