How would you spend £340,000 to improve our stations?

Govia Thamelink was fined £15 million for last year’s timetable meltdown. After work by MPs, local councils and rail traveller groups this has been allocated to stations, for projects to help passengers hit by the collapse in services.

For stations we cover on the Darenth Valley line £340,000 will be allocated to projects that help passengers directly.  Amounts at each station depend on how badly services were affected.

StationAmount
Sevenoaks£30,000
Otford£50,000
Eynsford£80,000
Bat & Ball£80,000
Shoreham£80,000

(Elsewhere in the Sevenoaks District: Swanley £50,000; Edenbridge Town £30,000; Edenbridge £30,000; Cowden £30,000; Hever £30,000; Leigh (Kent) £30,000; Penshurst £30,000.)

There’s a website for passengers to feed in ideas, and a price list for standard items like platform shelters, information screens, ticket machines or seating,  at https://www.passengerbenefitfund.co.uk

We’ve had a first look, and talked to GTR. The best use of the money will differ by station. Our initial preference is for projects which:

  • give step free access to trains where it isn’t already in place
  • provide ticket machines where there aren’t enough
  • improve live running infomation for passengers, about trains and, at Sevenoaks, connecting buses
  • give station and platform wifi where it’s missing
  • improve shelters and seating where they are inadequate.

Please let us know what you think? Decisions will be taken end July, and GTR will give extra weight to passenger groups like ours.


Comments

How would you spend £340,000 to improve our stations? — 4 Comments

  1. Bat & Ball, Shoreham and many other stations have Ticket Vending Machines that refuse to accept cash. This means that around 1.5 million people in Britain (often the most vulnerable) are banned from turn-up-and-go rail journeys from such stations, or face being hit by Penalty Fares / prosecution. This is unacceptable.

    If TOCs choose to abolish ticket offices to save money then they need to provide cash TVMs, or a process that authorises the unbanked to pay cash on the train or at their destination.

    Outdoor cash TVMs are not a problem: Orpington Station has two of them !

    The cost of providing cash TVMs should be treated as a normal business expense. However, if the so-called regulators allow TOCs to wriggle out of their responsibilities then perhaps the Passenger Benefit Fund should be raided?

  2. Hopefully the website is wrong and the money can be spent for station improvements at non-GTR managed ones. The website FAQs states it can only be spent on ‘wider passenger benefits’ at Southeastern managed stations. If that’s true it seems unfair on Shoreham, Eysnford and Bat & Ball since they are managed by Southeastern even though they don’t run any of the trains.

  3. Shoreham is in desperate need of a ramp to the London-bound platform. I’ve completed the survey and made reference to inconvenience, cost and unnecessary carbon emissions caused by having to drive to other stations to travel.

    Otford is the Station I use when travelling with my father in his wheelchair but even that is impossible after mid-morning because there isn’t any parking space left there.

    Traveller numbers that they no doubt use to do cost/benefit analyses are much lower than they would be because of the practical inability to access the trains from here.

    Hopefully there will be an appetite to address this, but the costs may well be prohibitive. Nothing ventured and all that . Any weight that the STRA can add to our cause will be very welcome by our community

  4. The website reflects the original plan for the scheme, and is now out of date. After our intervention and that of other local stakeholders the rules have been changed to allow for specific station improvements at Darenth Valley line. It will also be administered by GTR, partly to avoid any complications due to the ongoing Southeastern refranchising work.

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