Balham vs Earlfield: commuting and general feedback?

(10 Posts)
SouthLondonDaddy Tue 14-Mar-17 11:29:03

We currently live in East Dulwich but are considering moving for a number of reasons, including the absolute shambles of Southern Rail which has made rail connections an absolute nightmare.

Our commutes would be:
Balham to Victoria + bus to Marble Arch, or Earlsfield to Vauxhall + bus to Marble Arch, and
Balham or Earlsfield to Clapham Junction, then another train towards Putney

Can any one comment on their experiences with similar journeys? The trains from Earlsfield seem more frequent than those from Balham, but I have no idea how reliable or not the services are. Do you have to wait multiple trains before managing to get on? Are multiple trains cancelled for no reason?

The Balham to Victoria line is run by Southern, which scares me!
Balham has the tube, but we would not use it for the weekly commute - maybe at weekends.

As for the areas in general, Balham seems more expensive. The high street in Balham seems bigger and nicer. State schools... I really don't know. Our daughter will start primary school in Sep 2019, so we still have time to think this through carefully.

Any thoughts?
I often find it very hard to get reliable feedback on an area, because a lot of people are particularly keen on convincing themselves and others that wherever they live is best!


SouthLondonDaddy Fri 17-Mar-17 11:54:59

No one? sad

Greydove Fri 17-Mar-17 11:59:05

Surely it would be quicker to tube all the way to Marble Arch rather than train and bus

SouthLondonDaddy Fri 17-Mar-17 12:08:53

I'm not sure, that's why I'm asking for feedback from those who currently live in Balham.

The train from Denmark Hill or Peckham Rye to Victoria + bus to Marble Arch take roughly the same time as the train from East Dulwich to London Bridge, plus the jubilee to Bond street. Let's ignore for a second the Southern Fail shambles; when trains work properly, it can still take me 10-15 minutes from the moment the train doors open at London Bridge, to when I manage to get on the Jubilee line platform; once I make it there, I have to wait a few trains before I manage to board the tube.

I have heard lots of people saying that catching the tube from Clapham can be close to impossible, so I am wondering what it is like just two stops before, in Balham. I know from experience that getting off a train in Victoria and taking a bus is a more pleasant experience than the tube from London bridge to Bond street, and can take the same time.

Greydove Fri 17-Mar-17 14:16:17

It all comes down to timing, the tube is heaving at Balham between 800am- 830am. Meaning you may need to queue to enter the station

Balham is much better connected transport wise than Earlsfield and the state schools (primary & secondary) are generally good. No idea about Earlsfield schools

Balham may get Crossrail 2 - in which case it will lose Waitrose and be a building site for 2 years.

SouthLondonDaddy Sat 18-Mar-17 14:50:01

@Greydove, are you familiar with the Balham to Victoria railway line?

Has it been as affected by the Southernfail shambles as the line from Brighton or Dulwich? For most of the summer, the trains from East Dulwich and Peckham Rye to London bridge were one per hour only during the morning!

We would most likely use the tube at weekends, not for commuting, so I'm less worried about how overcrowded it is Mondays to Fridays.

Greydove Sat 18-Mar-17 20:03:32

Hi, yes the trains have been affected by the Southern issues
However from Balham to Victoria is a very frequent service so although there may be delays it's not been that bad. Think a train every 10 mins instead of every 5 mins.
Although there were a few full strike days where there was almost no service

Have you tried posting on Nappyvalleynet as there may be more people with knowledge of Earlsfield on there?

SouthLondonDaddy Sat 18-Mar-17 20:42:03

Thanks, I'll try that forum.
By the way, 10 minutes instead of 5 would be a dream for anyone forced to rely on SouthernFail from the Dulwich/Peckham area. Last summer the trains were reduced to one per hour [sic] in the morning, plus I lost count of the number of times I arrived late because trains after trains were cancelled for no apparent reason.

SouthLondonDaddy Sat 18-Mar-17 20:42:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SouthLondonDaddy Sat 18-Mar-17 20:42:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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