“Please help me persuade South West Trains to reduce the gap between train and platform at Kew Bridge Stn” – Angela Young

Description

Angela Young

At Kew Bridge station in London the gap between train and platform edge at the stairs end of the platform is particularly high, and causes difficulties for many people (especially older ones who may prefer not to walk further along the platform). This has been a problem for a number of years but nothing has been done about it. Other stations with such a problem have been adapted (usually by building up the platform a bit in the affected area) - why has Kew Bridge not been?
FixMyTransport offers an opportunity for us to get this fixed at last.

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Problem History

  • 1 Angela Young reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 22:28 01 Sep 2011
  • 2 Angela Young wrote to South West Trains close 22:28 01 Sep 2011

    Here is the letter that Angela Young wrote.

    Size of gap at Kew Bridge Stn

    Dear South West Trains,
    I am writing to express my concern about the size of the gap between the train and platform edge at the stairs end of both platforms at Kew Bridge Station. This gap is very hard for many people (especially old and very young) to negotiate, and I think it is dangerous.
    The old (1993) British Rail requirements for platform design state
    "The limiting dimension shall relate to the stepping distance from the nose of the platform to the stepboard or floor of passenger rolling stock.
    The following maximum dimensions shall be complied with wherever practicable:
    Horizontal 275 mm
    Vertical 250 mm
    Diagonal 350 mm"
    I am sure the vertical gap is much more than 250mm. Older people and others who may walk with difficulty often prefer to board and alight near the stairs but this gap makes this very hard for them.
    Other stations (such as Northwich in Cheshire, I understand) have found ways to solve this problem, possibly by building up the platform in the area where the gap is greatest. I think in this day and age this problem should have been solved at Kew Bridge by now.
    Please let me know what can be done about it.
    With many thanks
    Angela Young

  • 3 South West Trains responded to Angela Young close 22:43 01 Sep 2011
  • 4 Myf Nixon commented close 10:57 02 Sep 2011

    Hi Angela,

    Good luck with this! To show South West Trains that there's strong feeling around this, there are a few more steps you can take if you'd like to.

    You could take a snap next time you encounter this problem, to show graphically what the issue is.

    If you see others struggling, eg those with pushchairs, wheelchairs and the elderly, it might be worth having the URL printed out so that others can add their name to this page.

    I see that your local MP has an interest in the station as well! http://marymacleodblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/improving-kew-bridge-station.html - maybe leave her a comment.

    Here's hoping you get a good response.

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 Angela Young added an update close 15:29 02 Sep 2011

    Local MP is leading a move to improve the station (partly because expensive flats are being built nearby). Nothing about the platform, but I will make contact with her campaign.

  • 6 Angela Young added an update close 18:10 02 Sep 2011

    Thanks to the site moderator I've learned that the local MP has convened a group to press for improvements at Kew Bridge station. I've made contact with her asking if the Kew Bridge group can add this to the improvements it's pressing for.

  • 7 Hanna Corbishley commented close 17:29 04 Sep 2011

    This is a problem at many of the stations on the TFL network. If you are elderly, and your mobility is impaired, getting on and off the train at some stations is a nightmare. It would help if all trains had grab handles by the doors, so there was something to hold on to while negotiating the gap and the high step from the platform. The Piccadilly and Metropolitan lines are good for that,also the new part of the Jubilee Line, but the District Line is not for the faint hearted, and Willesden Junction High Level platform, where you get the train to Kew, is worse than Kew itself. I have written to TFL, and after six weeks they replied. It seems new trains with lower floors are to be brought into service, after 2014! The temporary new trains on the District Line now have grab handles on the end doors of the carriages, but there is no indication on the outside that they are there, and I only discovered them by sheer accident. Wheelchairs can access through the wide middle doors, but the sign showing you where you are supposed to park the chair is right at the end of the carriage, so the chair has to be pushed through the narrow gap between peoples' feet, or over them. Why do they not consult disabled people when planning provision for them. I am sure they have the best intentions at heart,but that is not enough.
    On another tack,there is not a single station in the London Borough of Harrow where I live which has either a lift or an escalator, and they all have long flights of stairs. The only exception is Harrow and Wealdstone, and that is only because the main line trains between Euston and the North stop there, not because it happens to be the terminus for the Bakerloo Line. If you have mobility problems in Harrow, you are trapped if you wish to travel on your own.
    I have only just discovered your website, but I will be keeping an eye on it in the future. Hanna Corbishley

  • 8 Angela Young added an update close 00:42 05 Sep 2011

    Delighted to say that Mary Macleod MP tells me that Kew Bridge improvement group will add this problem to their action list. I'll keep an eye out for more info about their progress. And thanks to Hannah Corbishley for interesting message. I know accessibility within stations is a chronic problem - can't tackle everything so am focusing on what affects my mother.

  • 9 South West Trains responded to Angela Young close 12:36 06 Sep 2011
    Fixmytransport.Com
    Customer Service Centre

    Customer Service Centre
    Overline House
    Blechynden Terrace
    Southampton SO15 1GW
    Telephone 0845 6000 650
    Fax 023 8072 8187
    email
    [South West Trains problem reporting email]

    [Reduce the gap between train and platform at Kew Bridge Stn email]

    Our ref:1638437

    06 September 2011
    Dear Sirs

    Thank you for your contact regarding our services. We do welcome
    feedback from our customers and have, in line with our franchise
    and passenger's charter commitments, established a full range of
    agreed channels to contact our customer relations team.

    A webform on our website at www.southwesttrains.co.uk

    By email to [South West Trains problem reporting email]

    By post to –
    South West Trains Customer Relations,
    Overline House, Blechynden Terrace,
    Southampton. SO15 1GW.

    By telephone 0845 6000 650 option 4

    There are also established representative bodies which deal with
    unresolved complaints from our passengers.

    For the London Area the organisation is London Travelwatch
    www.londontravelwatch.org.uk

    For the remainder of our area the organisation is Passenger Focus
    www.passengerfocus.org.uk

    To allow us to follow our agreed processes, would you please
    advise our customer to use one of the established methods of
    contact to obtain a full response to their concerns.

    Regards
    Jan Ledbyrne
    Stagecoach South Western Trains

    The information contained in this email is confidential and intended for the addressee(s) only. If you receive an email in error, please contact the sender or the Service Desk at [email address] +44 (0) 207 620 5602, and permanently remove the email from your systems.

    The opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and not necessarily those of the company.

    While emails are virus checked, the company does not accept any liability in respect of a virus which is not detected

    Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited
    Registered in England and Wales 5599788
    Registered office: Friars Bridge Court
    41-45 Blackfriars Road
    London SE1 8NZ
    A part of the Stagecoach Group
  • 10 Angela Young added an update close 00:33 08 Sep 2011

    South West Trains emailed me asking that I send my comments by one of their regular channels! So I've re-sent the email (with the reference number they've given my comment) to their customer relations email address. Not really progress, but we'll see what happens next.

  • 11 Hanna Corbishley commented close 16:19 08 Sep 2011

    I have also been in touch with Transport for London about high and wide gaps in general. Hope something gets done .Thanks for taking this matter up.
    Hanna Corbishley

  • 12 Myf Nixon commented close 17:10 08 Sep 2011

    Well done Angela and Hanna, please do keep us updated.

    anorak
    admin
  • 13 Myf Nixon commented close 16:08 04 Oct 2011

    Hello Angela- any progress?

    anorak
    admin
  • 14 Angela Young added an update close 00:02 12 Oct 2011

    Haven't been able to post for a few weeks as there are family health problems. BUT here is a picture of the gap on Platform 1 at first carriage, taken on 12 September. The pictured gap measures 39cm.

  • 15 Myf Nixon advised Angela to write to Tony Arbour . close 10:21 12 Oct 2011

    Hi Angela,

    So sorry to hear about the family problems.

    My goodness though, what a graphic picture. Thank you for adding that - it really shows the issue very clearly. Did you actually stoop down and measure it?!

    I'm going to suggest that you write to the London Assembly member for the Kew Bridge station constituency (South West London). There are 11 more of them too, if you don't get any satisfaction from this one - you can see them all on http://www.writetothem.com/who?pc=TW8+9QS+.

    Making sure that public transport is adequate for all constituents is part of their responsibility, so he ought to be interested.

    Once again, good luck,
    Myf

    anorak
    admin
  • 16 Angela Young wrote to Tony Arbour following Myf Nixon's advice. close 16:24 13 Oct 2011

    Dear Mr Arbour,
    I wonder if I might ask for your support on an accessibility issue that affects the elderly and infirm on Kew Bridge station.

    The gap between train and platform edge at the stairs end of the platform is particularly high - 39cm in fact - and causes difficulties for many people (especially older ones who may prefer not to walk further along the platform).

    This has been a problem for a number of years but nothing has been done about it. Other stations with such a problem have been adapted (usually by building up the platform a bit in the affected area) - why has Kew Bridge not been?

    I have raised the issue now because my mother is no longer able to use Kew Bridge station because of this problem. When she needs to use the train, she has to take a taxi to Chiswick station - an expensive and time-consuming complication. I have corresponded with South West Trains but with no result as yet - you can see a record of our correspondence on this page: http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/reduce-the-gap-between-train-and-platform-at-kew-b - where there is also a photograph to show the issue.

    I would be most grateful if you could intervene and have a word with the train company to see if anything might be done. You can contact me by replying directly to this email.

    With many thanks,

    Angela Young

  • 17 Angela Young added an update close 16:26 13 Oct 2011

    Just written to Tony Arbour, London Assembly member for the area including Kew Bridge station, asking him to support this issue and take it up with South West Trains. Thanks to site moderator for this suggestion.

  • 18 Tony Arbour responded to Angela Young close 16:30 13 Oct 2011
    Thank you, will investigate

    show quoted sections
  • 19 Angela Young added an update close 18:08 21 Oct 2011

    Dear Mary Macleod In response to an item in your blog, I emailed you in early September about the huge gap (39cm) between the train and the platform edge at Kew Bridge Station, on both platforms at the stairs end. You kindly agreed to add this to the agenda of the Kew Bridge Station improvement group you have been convening. I'm very grateful, and I wondered if there has been any progress on this? I'm publicising this issue on the new "FixMyTransport" website, which has helped me find ways of pursuing this issue (it's been a problem for years, as you may know). With many thanks for your reply. Angela Young

  • 20 Angela Young added an update close 15:29 26 Oct 2011

    A reply from MP Mary Macleod's assistant:

  • 21 Angela Young added an update close 15:29 26 Oct 2011

    Hi Angela, Thank you for your email. This issue was discussed amongst the group at our last meeting. We were informed by Network Rail that this would be the responsibility of South West Trains to address. They have now been invited to our next meeting next month where we will be able to express our concerns to them. We hope that we can make some progress on this and I will update you on the result. Kind Regards, Ashley Shackleton Parliamentary Caseworker Office of Mary Macleod M.P. House of Commons London SW1A 0AA

  • 22 Tracy Jermy responded to Angela Young close 12:55 27 Oct 2011
     
    Dear Angela

    Please find attached correspondence from Tony Arbour.

    Tracy Jermy

    PA/Caseworker to Tony Arbour JP Assemblyman for
    Hounslow, Kingston & Richmond
    (S W London) 

    Tel:  020 7983 4116
    Blackberry: 07775012103

    GREATERLONDONAUTHORITY
    EMAIL NOTICE:
    The information in this email may contain confidential or
    privileged materials. Please read the full email notice at
     [1]http://www.london.gov.uk/email-notice

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.london.gov.uk/email-notice
  • 23 Louise Crow commented close 11:27 31 Oct 2011

    The PDF attachment to the email from Tracy Jermy can be viewed at:

    http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/reduce-the-gap-between-train-and-platform-at-kew-b/incoming_messages/1194/attach/2

    anorak
    admin
  • 24 Myf Nixon commented close 15:10 31 Oct 2011

    In short, the PDF says that older stations can have excessive gaps and that various measures are in place to try to maximise safety.

    These include announcements and staff being on hand to help those who need it. It also mentions that gap distances are listed on the Office of rail Regulation website.

    anorak
    admin
  • 25 Angela Young added an update close 21:03 02 Nov 2011

    The local MP convenes a Kew Bridge Station Improvement Group.

  • 26 Angela Young added an update close 21:03 02 Nov 2011

    Here is what happened at their September meeting. This issue was discussed amongst the group at our last meeting. We were informed by Network Rail that this would be the responsibility of South West Trains to address. They have now been invited to our next meeting next month where we will be able to express our concerns to them. We hope that we can make some progress on this and I will update you on the result.

  • 27 Mark Jones advised Angela to write to London Travelwatch. close 12:26 03 Nov 2011

    Hi Angela,

    I've got some advice for you. What I think you should do next is write to London Travelwatch.
    They can stop the operators from passing the blame on to each other, as it seems the operators are doing this at the moment.
    It is actually Network Rail's responsibility to manage the stations and track, so maybe London Travelwatch can contact Network Rail on your behalf.

    Good luck!

    Mark Jones

    anorak
    admin
  • 28 Katie W commented close 11:57 15 Nov 2011

    I couldn't agree more,the trains step is too high and there is a big gap between the train and the station.
    Children only have short legs meaning they could easly just fall down on to the train track!
    There is also people who may not want to do big steps.
    Good luck!

  • 29 Hanna Corbishley commented close 18:15 15 Nov 2011

    Thank you everyone who commented.All support is most welcome. Hanna Corbishley

  • 30 Angela Young added an update close 21:57 20 Jan 2012

    Last night I raised this issue at a meeting of the local association - they are on the group convened by the MP to look at improving the station. There was much support, and the association will pursue the issue in the station group. Thank you, Mark, for your suggestion - I will email Travelwatch as soon as possible and also keep in touch with the MP myself.

  • 31 Hanna Corbishley commented close 16:06 22 Jan 2012

    Well done Angela Young. Tyhe more people you can get involved, the better.. |I have just signed the petition to get a lift or escalator installed at Harrow on the Hill Station. It is a nightmare of an obstacle course if you are not very
    mobile. If you or anyone else would like to sign it, the link is
    www.ipetitions.com/petition/access-at-harrow-on-the-hill-station.
    Funding was promised and then withdrawn. Now is the time to push the Mayor, with elections coming up in May. He says it is on his agenda, but who knows how far down? Hanna Corbishley

  • 32 shirley Strugnell commented close 11:25 23 Jan 2012

    I find this problem is also really bad on certain platforms at Clapham junction.

    Why cant fillers be installed on the platforms like they are in parts of Hong Kong and New York

    Shirley

Comment
  • started 1 September 2011
  • supporters 6
Kew Bridge Rail Station in Gunnersbury operated by South West Trains
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