Loss of national rail services at Edmonton Green ‘hammer blow’ for community

London Assembly member blasts decision by Greater Anglia to axe services from May and calls on TfL and mayor to do more to mitigate the impact, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Edmonton Green Station and (inset) Caroline Pigeon
Edmonton Green Station and (inset) Caroline Pigeon

A City Hall politician has warned that Edmonton Green Station losing all of its National Rail services next month will be a “hammer blow” for the community.

Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat on the London Assembly, said the withdrawal of Greater Anglia services from Edmonton Green will pile pressure on what is already “one of the busiest [stations] on the line”.

The station is currently served by four Greater Anglia services to Liverpool Street on weekday mornings, and five services coming back on weekday afternoons.

But the company has said that from 21st May, it will be diverting all nine of those services via Tottenham Hale instead, leaving Edmonton Green with just its London Overground service.

In a recent written question to mayor Sadiq Khan, Caroline said residents were worried about the change and asked what discussions he had held with Greater Anglia about it.

Khan said the “matter has been discussed informally” between Transport for London and Greater Anglia, and that both he and TfL had objected to the changes because of the loss of frequency and capacity on the route. He said the decision also “runs counter” to the amount of housing development planned to take place in the area.

“Despite TfL’s objections, the services are still being withdrawn at the May 2023 timetable change,” the mayor said.

In response to a further question from Caroline, asking whether TfL would replace the lost services with more Overground trains, Khan said this was not possible, as TfL “does not have trains available”.

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He said that although TfL had considered whether it could run its existing peak Overground services at more regular intervals, to spread passengers more evenly between trains, this was also not possible, “due to the constraints imposed by the current timetable structure”.

Khan added: “TfL will continue to work with its rail industry partners to attempt to mitigate the impact of this service withdrawal when planning future timetable changes.”

Commenting on the mayor’s update, Caroline said: “This news will come as a hammer blow for those in Edmonton.

“This station is already one of the busiest on the line and the withdrawal of Greater Anglia services will place increased pressure on other services.

“The mayor needs to think again and to work with government to provide vital rail services on this line.”

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said the changes were part of the company’s “ongoing work to respond to post-pandemic travel patterns and deliver consistently high standards of performance”.

She added: “These alterations should provide a better overall balance of services and capacity on the West Anglia route, and help ensure more reliable services are provided on an ongoing basis.

“TfL, through Arriva Rail London, continues to provide the core, very frequent service via Edmonton Green and Seven Sisters with 171 trains a day still operating on that route.

“Greater Anglia and TfL will continue to monitor travel patterns and demand along the Lea Valley and Edmonton Green/Seven Sisters routes respectively, to try and provide the best balance and quality of services for each route, co-ordinating as appropriate in doing so.”

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