Conservatives Stand Up for Public Transport Users in Charlton

On Thursday 6thDecember Greenwich Conservative Deputy Chairman; Thomas Turrell and Gemma Robinson attend the public meeting of the Charlton Rail Users Group. The meeting was held at Charlton Liberal Club on Charlton Church Lane. The meeting affects residents in both Charlton and Peninsula wards as Charlton station sites half in Charlton and half in Peninsula.

The meeting was attending by Mike Gibson, a Spokesman for South Eastern Rail. The meeting heavily focused on the stopping distance of trains at Charlton station. The problem being that different length trains stop at different places on the platform and quite often elderly and disabled people miss their train in the confusion, if the driver waits for them s/he can face disciplinary action. Mr. Gibson continually blamed Network Rail for the problem and the Steering Group reported that Network rail had quoted them £30,000 for moving the cameras. Mike Gibson also said that in the last 12 months 60 complaints had been received from Charlton station and none of them related to the stopping distance, he suggested that people complain more to South Eastern to get their complaints highlighted on the record. Members in the room replied that the point of Rail Users Group was to highlight complaints on the record and South Eastern is not listening. Members also complained that by the time they get home the moment has passed. This lead Gemma to ask Mr. Gibson what South Eastern Social Media presence was like on networks like Twitter, she pointed out companies such as London Midland have a twitter feed which people can talk to raising their concerns and issues and will receive a reply. Mr. Gibson replied that South Eastern have launched a similar page, and complaints to that page will be counted as on the record.  After the meeting Gemma Said “To it seems odd that Train companies have only just cottoned onto the use of twitter. Although complaining to twitter may not help some older generations it still helps the younger generations get their voice heard in a public manner where replies may not as patronising as email as anyone can see the replies.”

The group then discussed changes to London Bridge Station and Mr. Gibson said although services will not affected the stations operated by south eastern (platforms 1 -6) until December 2015 any travelling on Boxing Day or Christmas eve should check services as there may be some disruptions.

After Mr. Gibson had to leave the group talked about public transport in more detail. A senior member of the Rail Users Group spoke about the development of a Sainsbury’s local on the bottom of the new flats that have been built on the Floyd Road-Charlton Church Lane junction. He suggested that the pavement there should widened as it is too thin for current use, and once a shop is opened could be dangerous! Thomas, a Floyd Road resident responded saying that he agreed the pavement needs extending but feared that the road itself, once made thinner could be dangerous!  Thomas said “I see from my window, I see when I’m walking down the road, and I see when I’m in a car that current dangers as drivers ignored the Double Yellow line outside Charlton Station and dangerously pull out. I fear that if the road was thinner this danger would become worse.” Someone in the room suggested that pavement on the Delafield Road side should be reduced in order to accommodate the increase in size of the Floyd Road side. Thomas responded saying that the proposal would not solve the problem. Thomas said that if the Delafield Road side pavement was reduced then it should be to make parking places for the people currently blocking the road.

The Charlton Rail Users Group meets twice a year. The next meeting is in May 2014 and will be combined with the AGM.