Oystergate – Petioning Southern Rail

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This entrance to platform 1 is due to close in the next month.

The closure will delay and inconvenience thousands on their way to work. People with prams or luggage will have to struggle over the footbridge.

For disabled people the prospect is even worse. They will have to ring a bell and wait for a station worker to close the ticket counter and come and open a gate while they wait totally exposed to the wind, rain and cold.

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Wind, rain and cold was exactly what the Sydenham Society’s leafletteers had to endure on April 30th. The first day of their campaign to petition Southern Rail to reverse its position. The first supply of 500 leaflets was exausted by 8pm. Over a thousand were distributed. This alone suggests Southern Rail has seriously underestimated the use of this entrance.

Most were unaware of the planned closure and expressed horror and amazement.

The change is because Southern Rail will, at long last, be putting in oystercard readers. Good news. The bad news is they will only be placed on Platform 2 (southbound) entrance. Not installing oystercard readers on Platform 1 is purely a money saving exercise that will make public transport less accessible.

Tim Lund, the new chair of SydSoc, said:

“We feel that Southern and TfL are putting short term financial considerations and doubtful arguments about revenue loss above passenger convenience and safety. We are aware of the concerns of residents of Peak Hill Gardens, but the right approach must be to work together to manage problems that might arise, and welcome overall improvements to the stantion and Sydenham as a whole.”

Some Spring Hill residents have expressed concern that the Platform 1 entrance may cause car traffic problems. However, I stood outside the entrance between 8 and 9am and not one single car was seen to deposit/pick up a passenger even though there was parking space. They are right to complain about litter. Smoking outside the gate gives it a carpet of butt-ends as there is no bin to put them in.

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