Lewisham commuter says Lewisham station exit closure ramps up journey times

Lewisham commuter says Lewisham station exit closure ramps up journey times

Commuter Paul Spellers says the closure of Platform 4's side entrance ramps up passengers' journey times

Platform 4’s side entrance was open for the last time on Sunday

Platform 4’s side entrance was open for the last time on Sunday

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A COMMUTER says the "ridiculous" closure of a Lewisham station exit ramps up journey times into central London.

Platform 4’s side entrance was open for the last time on Sunday after train company Southeastern sealed the exit.

A Southeastern spokesman told News Shopper the decision was made to improve safety after a number of near misses between passing cars and pedestrians leaving the gate.

But passenger Paul Speller says the closure adds extra precious minutes to Lewisham commuters living on the opposite side of the station's main entrance off Station Road.

The 34-year-old, who lives in Conington Road - close to the former side exit - said: "It is ridiculous.

"On this side you have new residential developments - more than 500 flats have gone up here on the opposite side – if you could enter on that side it would save us half the walk.

"Most people are travelling from Lewisham and going straight to London – a 10 to 15 minute at most - but having that gate shut increases their journey time by a third or a half."

Mr Speller went on to say that during initial consultations rail providers promised to replace the exit - which had been downgraded to only open between 4pm to 7pm from Monday to Friday - with a lift.

He added: "I rarely use the gate at present as its limited hours don't fit with my commute, but would use a proper exit a lot."

A spokesman for Southeastern said: "As part of the station improvement programme, Lewisham station was gated with automatic barriers several years ago but due to lack of space we were unable to install barriers at this exit.

"The exit also leads directly out to a busy road and there have been a number of near misses with pedestrians and passing cars, so a decision was taken to close the gate permanently.

"We consulted with stakeholders regarding the proposal to close the gate and the decision has been approved by the Department for Transport."

Comments (2)

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2:26pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Paul S - Lewisham says...

That's me, there, trying not to laugh ;)

Just to clarify a few things:

I did say this would add a half to a third to journey times for those of us on that side of the station - not sure where 'doubles' comes from. I suppose it doubles the walking time to the station for us too, perhaps I'd said that and it's got mixed up in the edit.

The original proposal from Southeastern a few years ago was to shut this gate but build a new, proper exit at the bottom of the stairwell next to the new Platform 4 lift, which would be the ideal solution - but then they cancelled that and have just been trying to shut this gate for years since, in the face of opposition.

It seems their latest angle on trying to get this closed, which has finally worked for them with the DfT, is to pretend there's a safety issue outside it. This gate opens onto a big slope leading to a near-pedestrianised cul-de-sac of about eight houses. Utterly ridiculous of Southeastern to claim otherwise. And of course if they'd built the exit they promised, it would have come out even further from any main roads, and even nearer the 500+ new flats on Conington Road...

Thanks for picking this up, though, News Shopper/Sarah. It's nice that my Twitter moan last week about the gate's imminent closure could turn into some local news in this way!
That's me, there, trying not to laugh ;) Just to clarify a few things: I did say this would add a half to a third to journey times for those of us on that side of the station - not sure where 'doubles' comes from. I suppose it doubles the walking time to the station for us too, perhaps I'd said that and it's got mixed up in the edit. The original proposal from Southeastern a few years ago was to shut this gate but build a new, proper exit at the bottom of the stairwell next to the new Platform 4 lift, which would be the ideal solution - but then they cancelled that and have just been trying to shut this gate for years since, in the face of opposition. It seems their latest angle on trying to get this closed, which has finally worked for them with the DfT, is to pretend there's a safety issue outside it. This gate opens onto a big slope leading to a near-pedestrianised cul-de-sac of about eight houses. Utterly ridiculous of Southeastern to claim otherwise. And of course if they'd built the exit they promised, it would have come out even further from any main roads, and even nearer the 500+ new flats on Conington Road... Thanks for picking this up, though, News Shopper/Sarah. It's nice that my Twitter moan last week about the gate's imminent closure could turn into some local news in this way! Paul S - Lewisham
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Tue 8 Jan 13

Paul S - Lewisham says...

Thanks for the alterations about the journey times :)
Thanks for the alterations about the journey times :) Paul S - Lewisham
  • Score: 0

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