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20,000 sign petition opposing suggested changes to rail routes from Kent into London

PUBLISHED: 11:36 17 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:36 17 April 2017

Southeastern passengers

Southeastern passengers

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The government responded last week by insisting it is “not proposing to cut specific services”

More than 20,000 people have now signed a petition against proposed changes to rail services between Kent and central London.

The government’s consultation into the future of the south eastern rail franchise has come under intense scrutiny from both commuters and politicians, forcing transport secretary Chris Grayling to defend the document in the House of Commons.

Passengers in their droves have objected to a suggested example that all Metro services on the north Kent (between Dartford and Charlton), Greenwich and Bexleyheath lines would terminate at Cannon Street only, claiming the changes would make their lives “a misery”.

However, in a response to the petition last week, the Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed it is “not proposing to cut specific services” as it asked whether passengers would support the principle of reducing the choice of London termini served from individual stations to provide a more regular timetable and reliable service.

Transport chiefs added that they understand passengers value a choice of London stations, with commuters regularly using Cannon Street, Waterloo East and Charing Cross, as well as London Bridge, which serves the majority.

However, they felt with the introduction of the Elizabeth line, which could serve Gravesend as well as south east London stations such as Abbey Wood, passengers would still have choice with regards to how they travel into the capital.

The consultation closes on May 23 and is available to view here.

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