Anyone care to balance this up a little?

From the “just has to be read to be believed” department:

Blackheath station becomes more accessible

To keep disruption to a minimum and get best value for money, work to renovate the platforms took place at the same time.

Transport minister Norman Baker said: “It is important that everyone is able to access the railways as rail travel continues to grow in popularity – that is why we have contributed £1.1m from our Access for All initiative to upgrading Blackheath station.

“In total we are committed to spending £370m on upgrading stations across Britain for people with reduced mobility.”

Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route director for Kent, said: “Thousands of people living and working in Blackheath rely on the railway every day.

“This new step-free route around the station is great news for passengers and will make it much easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with reduced mobility or with small children.

“It’s a significant investment in our stations so they better meet the ever changing needs of passengers.”

This article surely is a joke. Where are the delays, the wrong steps, the misery of the commuters? Please head to their comments page and make them realise what a crock their article is. Government subsidy to pay for increased accessibility whilst the SouthEastern is allowed to cream off £61.5m profits every year.

They’ve now added a statement from Network Rail to the bottom of the page:

A Network Rail spokesperson said:

“We issued a letter in April advising local people that we had experienced some problems with the project owing to a combination of extreme winter weather conditions in December and January, some unforeseen difficulties with the installation of the new power supply for the lift and some issues with the fabrication of the new staircase.

“This meant we would not be able to complete the work to the original timescale.

“We apologise for any additional disruption this caused for passengers.”

Translation: We ordered the wrong size steps, we subcontract to subcontractors who have to come in on the train from Southampton (good luck with that), and our subcontractors can’t agree between themselves who is responsible for removing the wobbly bridge. Suck it up and enjoy those price rises…


Filed under blackheath

13 responses to “Anyone care to balance this up a little?

  1. AnnaC

    Just left a comment. I’m particularly puzzled by their sentence “A new gate was also installed to reopen the existing access point to platform 2 which serves trains towards Kent.” Exactly what access point and new gate are they talking about? All I can tell they’ve done is block the very useful second exit from the tunnel which I used daily as I live beyond the car park so walk up that way every day.

  2. Prefer the Steps

    If you walk down platform 2, past the rickety bridge, there on your right you will see a small blue-painted door which, lo and behold, leads you into the nether reaches of car park. This is possibly useful for people living in Baizdon Road so long as there aren’t too many of them as the opening is only a couple of feet wide. Why southeastern should choose to provide access via this door rather than the much larger one nearer the cab rank and the rest of the world is a puzzle. Can anyone explain?

  3. Mat Gough

    The whole thing has been a monstrous farce and huge waste of money. They could have just built a slope down to the side the town platform behind puccinoes to mirror the one on the country platform!

  4. AnnaC

    Prefer the Steps – thanks for the clarification. I had wondered if that was what they meant but decided it couldn’t be as I walk past that door twice a day and have yet to see it open. I live in St Joseph’s Vale so walk through the car park. If that door was open it would be very useful for the homeward bound journey!

  5. The door or gate on platform two is rarely, if ever open. I think I’ve used it maybe half-a-dozen times in the 18 or so years I’ve lived here, i.e. on the Sunday of the London Marathon, when it’s opened to relieve congestion. Why they’ve effectively barred the side door to the taxi rank I do not know.

  6. Pingback: South East London News & Tidbits | fromthemurkydepths

  7. Eve

    I saw a man doing some work on the door on Platform 2 at around 8:30 this morning. I think the door had been taken off, so maybe they really are going to put in a new gate?

  8. Ed

    Noticed yesterday that the platform exit blue door has been removed and replaced by a temporary fencing . Is something worthwhile about to happen ?

  9. Tulyar

    “It is so good to see real engagement with the local users in determining the ways to make Blackheath station more readily accessible and reduce the (overall) journey times of the massive number of commuters who daily need to get to or disperse from the station quickly and efficiently” said Mr Sarcos of Athens.
    Still give it a few months and the wonderful results of blocking an obvious need will generally appear – through removal of or disabling of fencing & gates in the wrong places.
    Design guidance for emergency stairs should give flow rates for respective widths, although this assumes unidirectional flow rather than some poor sod trying to go in the opposite direction at the same time. Do they get crowded when a train arrives and empties?
    Lifts presumably de minimis just big enough for wheelchair – too short for a bike, and minimum standard of 80cm door (v tight for double prams (80cm)), ticks the boxes but wonder if ‘Mike Yates’ has sampled

  10. Anonymous

    That side door was bricked up and the wall savaged a few years back at the time they removed the roof. Oops! No-one had checked whether it was listed and it had to be swiftly restored. I wouldn’t be surprised if installing a gate was not a similar transgression.
    BTW, if they can open this as a congestion relief, why the resistance to opening the gate on the Lewisham down platform to save some passengers [sorry CUSTOMERS] having to make a big loop through the station and past the bus station?

  11. Not only is the wooden gate being replaced by a metal job, but I note that signage has gone up. Perhaps the gate will now be opened regularly, or during the rush hour at least. Or is that too much like common sense?

  12. Moosh

    I was informed that the massive rebuilding of the path to the side of the station, effectively widening the path and narrowing the taxi rank space, was to allow for disabled access to platform 2. This was part of the overall renovation costs.

    Now this would seem silly as there was already a ramp there to platform 2, but the original ramp gradient was deemed too steep. To be honest, i’d rather not attempt that in a wheelchair on my own!

    This would make me think that the side gate should be open when the station is open, as it always used to be, otherise said disabled persons wouldn’t actually be able to get it?

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