27 July 2009

Brockley Station - An Update

I received an update from Lewisham's officers on 22 July:

"Dear All,

I am writing to update you with regard to the Brockley Station Ramp.
Our contractor has worked extremely hard to re-open the footbridge to the station and access to the ticket office, and we can now confirm that the ramp section will be open by the end of next week.

Unfortunately it is not possible to open the ramp earlier as there are some landscaping works to be undertaken along the front edge of the site involving the use of heavy machinery. This could pose a safety risk to members of the public. I'm sure you will appreciate that the safety of the public must always be the Council's primary concern.

It is hoped that works to the steps will be completed in the next few weeks. We are awaiting delivery of specially commissioned railings and surfacing materials. Every effort is being made to complete this was soon as possible.

We are very aware of the difficulties the closure of the footbridge is causing to the many commuters who use Brockley Station on a daily basis. I'm sure the opening will be welcomed by both local people and by commuters. The project is now nearing completion and looks extremely impressive. It is a great addition to the Brockley Cross area and our thanks go to all who have contributed to the design and construction of it.

I hope this information is useful."

However I have also received a letter dated 17 July 2009 sent to me in another way...

"Firstly let me update you on progress to the ramp at Brockley Station. The works began in March, but our original programme had to be revised following the delays due to the discovery of asbestos on the site. This revised programme indicated a completion date during the week commencing 10th August. However recent discussions with the Contractor have allowed us to reduce this to the w/c 27th July.

It was originally anticipated that the footbridge would be closed for 10 weeks - which would have been until the end of May. Following the asbestos removal, this was revised to the end of June. Unfortunately, there have been delays in sourcing some of the materials needed to complete the works, some of which are specialist and individually commissioned. The intention now is to open the footbridge (as long as this can be done safely) by the latest next Friday - 24 July."

There is no obvious explanation for the differences between these updates - occurring less than a week between them. However I have been extremely concerned with the way in which users and people living around the station have been kept up to date with the project.

A very simply board with updates on this seemingly never-ending project would have been sufficient. Instead the only 'official' communication has been the rather testy notice still on Platform 1 at Brockley Station rather hopefully suggesting that the delay was to be only 2 weeks.

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