Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Uplifting Site


The new lifts and raised covered walkway at the station took a major step forward over the weekend as these two lift shaft frames were lowered into place on Saturday night. The work is set to be completed in late April with the current pedestrian bridge set to be demolished after that. I would have thought two pedestrian bridges are better than one but apparently it is cheaper to bulldoze the old bridge than to keep it maintained. Whooda Thunkit?

According to Ali, the gentleman running the current project, they try to do all their major works at night at the weekends when it is less disruptive if they need to close the line to trains. However there are around a dozen people on site during the week doing the groundwork and getting things ready for the major work to be done while the rest of us are usually snoozing in our warm beds.


16 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

WPnewbie said...

So just to clarify, if you want to access the southbound platform and need step-free access, you have to enter via the northbound platform, go up, across and down? Are they seriously not putting in a ramp on the southbound side, down to the pavement? Surely that would be cheaper than two lifts?

guest said...

Except Railtrack don't own the land that would be needed to create the ramp. So by the time they have got a compulsory purchase order and built the ramp, provided lighting, installed ticket barriers it would be much more expensive

Nichu said...

I agree. I had assumed they'd be putting in a ramp on the southbound side to avoid the need for lifts. I suspect someone with a vested interest in obtaining the maintenance contract was responsible for that decision. I fear that the new lifts will become another graffiti magnet.

R.A.S. Engineer. said...

These towers have bee located at the wrong end of the platform, it seems today that engineers do not study people movements. Passengers traveling South will not walk back up the line to cross this bridge, they will walk to the South exit and cross under the bridge to get the other side. Apart from this comment this bridge is a total waste of money as passengers can get to the other side by descending to Central road and walking under the bridge. Most important would be to convert the south exit stairs to a ramp.
R.A.S. Engineer.

Wpman said...

Has anybody thought about the passenger congestion that will now happen at the current southbound exit ! Lots of commuters use the footbridge to exit via platform 1. Madness to remove the existing footbridge

guest said...

Consider a wheelchair user, if arriving at the Southbound platform, they really don't want to have to go down a long ramp (maximum slope 1/12), then cross under the bridge to get to their car which will be on the North bound side. This will finally make the station accessible to disabled passengers.



By all means add a ramp as well, keep the existing bridge, but this will bring the station into the 21st Century with step free access.

Guest2 said...

A ramp on the Southbound side might be useful (though I can't see how it would fit into the current space without the slope being too steep) but without lifts a southbound wheelchair user that needs to buy a ticket would first have to go to the northbound side, then all the way back around under the bridge & up the other side to access the platform - hardly good accessibility.

guest5 said...

As a disabled person who used to use the line a lot until needing a wheelchair I think its about time there was step free access to both North and Southbound trains. At present there are no stations between Wimbledon and Epsom that offer level access both ways.


Im sure a ramp sounds like a good idea, but in order to be usable by a manual wheelchair a 1:12 gradient or less is needed, the end of the ramp would end up near the far end of the platform! and be even more of a walk for the Southbound users.

Jay said...

When I first heard about the new lift I gathered it would just be a lift, and the current stairs would be kept, however moving the stairs just makes no sense, to go over to the toward Dorking/Guildford side from the ticket office you will need to go through a crowd of commuters to get to the stairs, oppose to missing them by going up the regular stairs.
Good investment on the lift, poor waste of money on the stairs, but then after all I am sure they can afford it with the over priced train tickets.

WP Resident said...

I feel for the parents with young children in push chairs or prams (and the people who have to constantly help them down the southbound stairs). While these lifts will provide an option for getting out the station unaided I can't see every parent choosing to go backwards up the platform, wait in a queue (I often see numerous push chairs exiting the same train), cross over the bridge wait for another lift and then walk all the way round under the bridge to get to the high street. There will still be people looking to go down the stairs and looking for help in doing it. A ramp of some description would have solved so many more issues for a fraction of the cost.

Grant said...

Can't we just be happy that they are investing in the station. We might get cross rail 2 as a result. I'm sure people will cope with the position of the bridge and the stairs

Alex said...

Scrapping the old bridge is a dumb decision on a massive scale.
The more access routes and crossing points for passengers to get in and out the station, the better. Plus, when there's a problem when one of the bridges develops a fault (and let's face it, history and experience tells us, it's more likely to be the new one), at least there's an emergency alternative there.
As we've seen from the failed experiment that is a one-way flow in the car park, funnelling traffic down one route, at peak times causes a massive bottleneck, particularly with prams and pushchairs added into the mix, blocking the flow still further when there's a queue waiting for a lift.
Plus, having multiple access points, aiding quick boarding and disembarking without delay is certainly going to help our case for Cross Rail 2. Surely there's a good case for maintaining the old bridge? [As opposed to say, uprooting all the old benches and replacing them with new, back-to-front ones? ]

WP Communter said...

I completely agree with Grant - why are people always so negative on here? Wouldn't it be nice if people were just grateful that we're seeing some investment in our local area? The station is currently inaccessible to wheelchair users, the new lifts will sort that. If we're told that it costs more to maintain the old bridge than to demolish it - such is life. I don't really get the argument about people not going back down the platform to cross over. Currently people like me who travel regularly from Central London to Worcester Park head to the front of the train at Waterloo so it's straight out the doors and over the bridge at WP. All I will do now is get on the middle of the train rather than the front so it will still be straight out the doors and over the bridge. It will just be different doors and a different bridge. I will also be crossing over a nice covered bridge so won't get wet and will be less likely to slip when it's raining.

I also believe Sutton Council is looking to make a new entrance / ramp as part of the Pocket Park: http://www.sutton.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=21423&p=0 and http://www.sutton.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=21422&p=0 This should help to make a nice additional entrance/exit to the Station on the Surrey-bound side helping to solve congestion problems. It may also provide a useful alternative for those with pushchairs and luggage but won't work for wheelchair users due to the gradient. The new bridge/lift is therefore necessary as well.
I would like to say thank you to all those involved in the improvements to the Station and the surrounding area. Perhaps others can wait until it's all finished before casting judgement ...

Shakermaker said...

Ridiculous if no ramp is being provided on the southbound platform, I thought the path that the builders are using behind the small parade of shops was going to become a ramp to street level?
Believe that the footbridge might be as old as the station (150 years) would be sad to see a old piece of the original station disappear

guest D said...

If they did that there would soon be a whole host of people complaining about the waste of their money. The purpose of this change is to make the station one with 'Step Free Access' and a ramp which would mean a diversion of around 200 yards for Disabled people and would be impossible to use in icy conditions could not count as that.


Write a letter to Boris, it is he that is pushing for 'Step Free Access' to all stations in London and I think he is right in that aim.

RobC said...

This work seems to be taking a long time to complete.
However in the meantime the graffiti 'artists' have been at work on it!

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