David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, used an Adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday (7 September) to criticise Southeastern Railway for cancelling plans to provide step-free access to Crayford Station’s Platform 2.
The proposed scheme would have seen an existing gate on Platform 2 opened to an existing footpath that runs along the Platform and out to Station Road.
He said “Southeastern was presented with a simple, cost-effective scheme that could have been implemented quickly and would have made a real difference to commuters and others. Its decision not to proceed, motivated purely by money and fare revenue, will cause continued inconvenience to rail travellers with mobility problems, particularly the elderly and families with pushchairs. I am really disappointed that Southeastern is letting down so many vulnerable customers.”
Responding on behalf of the Government, the Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, also told Southeastern to look again at the situation. He said “The Department has recently commissioned research showing that providing level access to platforms can deliver increased journeys and therefore increased revenues for train operators, so I would like to encourage Southeastern seriously to look at this issue again and to give full consideration to the operational arrangements that would be required to enable access via gates to a new entrance on the other platform.”
Commenting after the debate, Mr Evennett said “Having discussed the matter further with the Minister after the debate, I understand that Southeastern can re-apply for funding. I strongly urge them to do so and look again at implementing the proposed scheme”.