Update on Chuka Umunna’s Meeting with Network Rail

Chucka has published an update about his meeting with Network Rail, I’m a little disapointed as I was hoping for some concrete action, not more words, we’ve had enough of those.

Main take away’s are:-

  • That NR are looking to increase the capacity of the 560 replacement bus (although most people are now going to Norbury so I doubt this will help much!).
  • Network Rail will appoint a single point of contact for local businesses.
  • He has demanded an apology.
  • If you have any problems or concerns, you should contact Chuka directly.

Local residents will be aware of the awful problems there are with the platform extension being carried out by Network Rail at Streatham Common Station and the associated closure of the Greyhound Lane Bridge.

This morning I met with three senior officials from Network Rail to discuss the appalling situation. Some of you living locally may be aware that already people have lost their jobs and that businesses are suffering from a severe loss of takings. It’s taking hours for kids to get to school, there have been serious concerns about the traffic plans network rail put in place, and the communications effort from Network Rail has been appalling.

Following advice from the Health and Safety Inspectorate, I am told that the traffic management situation is now resolved. However, if anybody has any fears, or any doubts at all, that this is the case, please contact me as soon as possible. Network Rail also assured me that they are looking in to how to increase capacity on the replacement bus services, particularly at peak times including the end of the school day.

While I hope Network Rail are now finally getting to grips with the situation, this will not make up for the fact of what has gone wrong, and I have demanded that Network Rail issue an apology as soon as possible to everyone who has been adversely affected.

For those who have lost their jobs, this will of course be of little comfort. I am determined that everything possible is done to protect the businesses in the area who are suffering from dramatically lowered footfall. For this, compensation is absolutely essential.

I told Network Rail in no uncertain terms that they should immediately create a single point of contact for businesses and make sure that local businesses receive all the information they need to get the compensation they deserve. Network Rail seemed finally to have understood that they have made mistakes and seem willing to put it right – whether they compensate businesses affected will be the key.

I share the strong feelings so many of you have conveyed to me about this. I will not rest until Network Rail have resolved these problems and until the local businesses who have worked so hard to survive the recession can get redress.

To report any concerns whatsoever to me, particularly about safety, please see my contact page for details of how to get in touch.


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