Posting from the Streatham Lib Dems website. I’m glad someone has noticed that the format of the works benefits the Southern Railway and not local residents.
Streatham Common Station: A Bridge Too Far?
October 15, 2012 8:49 AM
Originally published by Lambeth Liberal Democrats
Streatham faces being cut in two as Network Rail begins work to upgrade platforms at Streatham Common Station to allow longer trains during peak commuter periods. The work has already begun and is likely to continue until the Summer of 2013.
Major disruption is likely for at least six months as the railway bridge over the tracks above Streatham Common Station is rebuilt in stages to facilitate longer platforms for the rolling stock upgrade. The resultant closure or partial closure of the bridge linking Streatham Vale and Greyhound Lane will affect anyone wishing to travel between the two areas and result in long diversions for bus routes.
Quite apart from serious travel disruption, there is also concern about the impact upon local businesses on both sides of the bridge especially in the run-up to Christmas when many local outlets would expect a big boost to trade. Some local shopkeepers have said that the impact on sales could be enough to drive them out of business.
Residents of Streatham Vale and St Leonard’s wards complained bitterly at a recent hastily-convened public meeting that they had received no official warning let alone any consultation about the proposals from either Network Rail or Lambeth Council. The first many knew of the plans was when Liberal Democrats alerted them through our regular ward-based Focus Newsletters.
To add insult to injury for many residents, further works are planned by Network Rail on Bedford Hill in Balham which links the busy A23 with the A24.
There are certainly some plus points about the proposals to create better commuter facilities at Streatham Common Station and greater capacity of trains stopping there – although it remains to be see whether the extra train carriages will directly benefit Streatham passengers or still be fully occupied by the time they arrive.
Liaison between the Labour-run Council and Network Rail appears at best chaotic and there is a strong suspicion that the programme has been designed to impact minimally in terms of delay on the rail network and most and longest on the folk who use the bridge as a vital link between A and B and who may otherwise never use the rail service or benefit in any way from any improvements real or imagined.