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