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11 June 2008

Public Transport Liaison meeting

Cllr Paschoud (Perry Vale), Cllr Nisbet (Sydenham) and representatives from the Forest Hill Society and Sydenham Society attended a meeting last night with bus and train managers, as well as Lewisham Council officers and London TravelWatch.

Trains
Forest Hill station ticket barriers will be in operation from 7th July. At this time the Perry Vale exit will remain closed during the day until 3pm. At 3pm-8pm ticket inspectors will be present on the Perry Vale exit and after 8pm the gate, along with the ticket barriers will be left open when the station is unmanned (Open gates after 8pm is a concession that Forest Hill Society were able to get previously in communications with Southern Railways).

Sydenham Station is expected to have the barriers and gates in operation from today. At Sydenham they have a buzzer on the back entrance to enable step-free access to the platform but this is not planned for Forest Hill.

Points raised by stakeholders that require action by Southern:
  • Will consider a Sydenham style buzzer for Perry Vale gate in daytime hours, but not likely. This would give the same accessibility to Forest Hill as currently available. I have spoken to older rail users who commute southbound or Victoria bound off-peak on a daily basis and will likely drive to Sydenham rather than walk across four staircases to get to southbound platform at Forest Hill
  • Continue to look at the barriers at platform 1 for Sydenham
Other points raised by stakeholders that may require further follow up:

  • Risk assessment for Forest Hill was only done on the new ticket barriers on platform 1, no risk assessment was done on the manned exit from Perry Vale and congestion on the platform.
  • We recommend a policy of self-certification for mobility restricted access to Sydenham platform 1, i.e. if a customer says they need the gate opened the staff should not question this. Customers should not be forced to state their medical condition into an intercom system. Staff are not medically qualified to make such judgments.
  • We need to keep pursuing the long-term Perry Vale car park access to the station. Basic access could be achieved in a few minutes with the demolition of a single wooden fence or removal of a padlock [by qualified professionals of course]. Proper access would take a little longer to achieve.
  • Len Duvall (our London Assembly Member) has written to Mayor Johnson as well contacting the transport authorities directly regarding this issue.
  • London TravelWatch has written to the rail authorities expressing concern about the plans at both Forest Hill and Sydenham stations but have yet to receive a reply.
Buses

Prompted by demand on se23.com and East Dulwich Forum for the extension of the 63 route to Honor Oak / Brockley Rise, I raised this issue with the bus companies. The 63 route is currently under review and there will be a consultation shortly. This is an excellent opportunity to extend the service and I shall be writing to TfL buses to fully argue the case.

When the public consultation happens members of the public will have the opportunity to express their opinion on this possible route extension which I feel would be of great benefit to local residents wishing to travel between Peckham, Honor Oak Park, and beyond.

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