2012 was a busy year for us hear at the Messy Train Land blog, we had some success and some setbacks – but we made a difference. Here are the highlights:
With the Mayoral elections fast approaching, January 2012 kicked off with a 5-point plan to make public transport more affordable. The plan included proposals for ‘One Hour Bus Tickets’ allowing passengers to “hop on and off as many times as necessary within an hour”, early bird rates, part time Travelcards and the reinstatement of the Zone 2-6 Travelcard. Travelling to work is a big expense for people.
Sadly Boris was re-elected, and so we’ve been lumbered with inflation-busting fair rises again this year. February saw us highlighting the difficulties blue badge holders have at Wimbledon Station, with Merton Council throwing up their hands about the problem.
We were busy in March and April reporting a number of grot spots on railway and tram land in the area. We forwarded a number of photos to Network Rail showing the state of the embankments at Raynes Park and Wimbledon Chase, as well as the land alongside the railway bridge over the Chase and by the pedestrian bridge over Merton Hall Road.
Little did we know that we would struggle to get any response from Network Rail at all, eventually we complained to the Chief Exec in July. In passing, we heard in October that Network Rail were promising to clean up the embankment at Raynes Park. And after a bit more lobbying through the Autumn rubbish was cleared in December from the land at Merton Hall Road and along Chaseside Avenue.
Trying to work out who owned the land alongside the public footpath between Dundonald Road – Alt Grove has proved difficult; although we did manage to get Transport for London to perform a bit of a litter pick.
Most of us were suprised when Wimbledon Station got a stag in June.
Following the publication of Network Rail’s plans in 2011 to cut the direct Thameslink rail link between south London, the City and central London (known as the ‘Wimbledon loop’), Liberal Democrats across south London launched the “Save our Thameslink” petition – and collecting signatures for this kept us busy from April-August. In the end, hundreds of people backed the petition to keep the Thameslink services through Blackfriars, which was submitted in September. Pleasingly, the Government ordered a review of the process in November.