Very Poor Response From Network Rail

A week after my second email, I have finally received a response from Network Rail, not from the CEO’s office as I requested but from the Community Relations Team. I’m certain it’s a response to someone’s email, just not the one I wrote, it fails to address a number of the points I raised.

Basically this is too little, too late. Given the timescales indicated in the letter neither the leaflets nor the posters will be issued until after the bridge is closed, and the review meeting will take place far too late after the closure to be useful. Network Rail haven’t even communicated a detailed plan to residents yet, much less published one online, and so little has been done to inform drivers about the bridge closure I’m very concerned traffic chaos will ensue once the closure happens.

They state that:

Network Rail has worked closely with Lambeth Council to develop the traffic management arrangements during the period of single lane closures. Lambeth Council’s Highway Authority, have recommended the arrangements on site as the best compromise between pedestrians and road traffic.

In short pedestrians on the Streatham Vale side of the bridge have been left to play in traffic! They have been considering their options for weeks. The whole thing stinks of total incompetence.

Having spoken to the person that ‘digitally signed’ the letter, it turns out that her team didn’t even appraise her of the contents of it. I have managed to arrange an on site meeting with a number of NR and Lambeth representatives on Tuesday 30th. We’ll see what happens!

Dear Mr,

Railway bridge works at Streatham Common Station

Thank you for your recent letter sent for the attention of David Higgins, Chief Executive. A copy of your letter has been forwarded to me for response on his behalf. We take your concerns seriously and have initiated a number of immediate actions in response:-

The Project

Network Rail is extending platforms at several stations in South London. This forms part of a scheme by the Department for Transport (DfT) which will allow Southern to operate longer 10 car trains to and from London terminals from December 2013.

At Streatham Common, works are planned to extend Platforms 1 and 2. Both platforms will extended by 45 metres towards Norbury, taking the platforms underneath and beyond Greyhound Road Bridge.

In order to carry out these works, contractors will need to temporarily close Greyhound Lane where it crosses over the railway. They will then remove part of the bridge, and demolish part of the supporting bridge structure to allow enough space for the new platforms.

Communications

  • A leaflet is to be issued within the next 7-10 days to properties within a 1 mile radius of Streatham Common Station outlining the works. Copies of these will also be available at Streatham Common Station.
  • Posters will appear at Streatham Common Station in advance of the full road closure on 3 November 2012.
  • Letters were delivered to local residents first on the 17 August 2012, and then to a wider audience during the last week of September 2012.
  • Driver awareness signs are in place at three points on the road layout.
  • A further public meeting will be held on the 6 December 2012 to review arrangements, again in Granton Primary School at 19:00.

Traffic Layout – Road junction at Aberfoyle Road and Woodgate Drive

  • Network Rail has worked closely with Lambeth Council to develop the traffic management arrangements during the period of single lane closures. Lambeth Council’s Highway Authority, have recommended the arrangements on site as the best compromise between pedestrians and road traffic.
  • Network Rail’s contractors have appointed representatives to monitor the performance of the traffic lights to keep them operational throughout the works.
  • Network Rail is currently considering options, including school crossing patrols, to further improve pedestrian and road safety during the works, particularly for the young and elderly.

Local businesses/economic concerns

  • Network Rail’s is keen to work with the community. We would be pleased to discuss any concerns on a case-by-case basis and representatives of Network Rail would be pleased to meet with you again should you require any further information.

Yours sincerely,

Community Relations Manager

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