Author Topic: Station access  (Read 12200 times)

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Max

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Station access
« on: February 03, 2007, 03:11:23 pm »
Editor's Note:  This post has been split to start a new topic about access to Brookmans Park Station. The original post was in response to comments about bad parking in the Gardens.


Don't get me started on that station again!

Don't-walk-uphill-itis is an illness that we all tend to succumb to in time. My 85 year old mother suffers from it to some extent, as do many elderly people. The problem is the design of the station. The entrance should be from the car park, with some provision (how about a station attendent?) to help people who cannot walk easily cross the lines to the platform. It is certainly the only station I know of where it is impossible to drop people right outside the entrance, and it is to be noted that people who travel sometimes have luggage with them. When I lived in BP and had to travel with a fair amount of "stuff", my dad would take me to Potters Bar where I could get to the platform without using a bridge.

How did the station come to be designed like that anyway? Did no-one know which side of the tracks they were going to build the village?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 04:31:43 pm by David Brewer »
 

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Station access
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2007, 03:55:17 pm »
How did the station come to be designed like that anyway? Did no-one know which side of the tracks they were going to build the village?

Max, I've split this from the thread about parking in the Gardens because I think it's worth its own thread. 

Regarding your point about access to the platforms at Brookmans Park Station, perhaps there is a clue here in the 1926 sales pitch brochure for Brookmans Park.

The sentence saying that the station would be in the middle of the estate might suggest they originally proposed to build both sides of the tracks?

Quote
A new station, Brookmans Park, has been built by the Great Northern Railway Co. in the centre of the estate.

Having said that, it was always in the north west quarter of the map included in the brochure. Here is the relevant bit.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 04:41:46 pm by David Brewer »
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Station access
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2007, 05:05:08 pm »
Interesting that the road layout bears no resemblance to the current Peplins Way / Bradmore Way - and that there is a road linking Bradmore Way with Bulls Lane.
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2007, 05:10:09 pm »
Yes, and Moffats Lane looks a bit different too.

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Re: Station access
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2007, 05:27:28 pm »

The problem is the design of the station. The entrance should be from the car park, with some provision (how about a station attendent?) to help people who cannot walk easily cross the lines to the platform. It is certainly the only station I know of where it is impossible to drop people right outside the entrance, and it is to be noted that people who travel sometimes have luggage with them.


Getting back to the point Max was making, what's the answer? Even if there is a bridge to the car park, there will still be stairs. The only thing I can think of is two new platforms, one northbound and the other southbound so you can alight the train and remain on the level.

David
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Station access
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2007, 05:37:20 pm »
Money, money, money.

Nothing will change because it will cost money.  Rail travellers don't like the fare increases as it is, so the thought of any major change on this station is just wishful thinking.

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Re: Station access
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2007, 05:47:42 pm »
Well, continuing with my wishful thinking...

 ;)

I noticed on the old map, reproduced earlier in the thread, the lines go on the inside of the platforms, so that would have worked wouldn't it. It would have been a bit like Welham Green where you can get off when travelling northbound and walk into the car park.

I think First Capital Direct have to do something in terms of accessibility. Clearly, anyone who is confined to a wheelchair doesn't have access to the platform and is therefore denied a service. The company's advice is to use Potters Bar instead.

Here is their page for details about Brookmans Park. Scroll down to the accessibility bit. Not great.

David





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John_fraser

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Re: Station access
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2007, 08:58:45 pm »
I think First Capital Direct have to do something in terms of accessibility. Clearly, anyone who is confined to a wheelchair doesn't have access to the platform and is therefore denied a service. The company's advice is to use Potters Bar instead.

There are exactly three  stations with wheelchair access in both directions on this line - Welwyn Garden City, Potters Bar and Kings Cross. Hatfield and Welham Green have it in one direction, which seems next to useless. Any money spent on BP would not help disabled access, it would just save lazy people walking a few extra feet.
 

Max

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Re: Station access
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2007, 11:09:18 am »
Quote

Or it would enable people with large amounts of luggage to be dropped off at the station entrance, rather than at a blind corner on a busy road.

If you're being dropped off you are in a car. Drive to Potters Bar, where you have more choice of trains and it won't cost some ridiculous some to alter the station.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 08:25:57 am by John Fraser »
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2007, 06:02:49 am »

I might point out that in Greece, a much poorer country than the UK, two new underground lines have been built in Athens in the past 10 years, together with a new or greatly altered line linking Athens to Patras, and every single station has access for diabled people. How come the Greeks can afford this?

I don't want to cross the line into politics here, but didn't they get whacking handouts for the Olympics?
 

John_fraser

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Re: Station access
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2007, 08:26:20 am »
Quote

Or it would enable people with large amounts of luggage to be dropped off at the station entrance, rather than at a blind corner on a busy road.

If you're being dropped off you are in a car. Drive to Potters Bar, where you have more choice of trains and it won't cost some ridiculous some to alter the station.
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2007, 08:36:34 am »

If you're being dropped off you are in a car. Drive to Potters Bar, where you have more choice of trains and it won't cost some ridiculous some to alter the station.


But the Potters Bar option still doesn't solve the problem of people who are disabled or not that agile and who want to use public transport not being able to use Brookmans Park Station.

Bearing in mind Brookmans Park's demographic, the station is not that user-friendly.

One for Grant and Mike to take up?

David
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Station access
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2007, 09:49:06 am »
Quote
I might point out that in Greece, a much poorer country than the UK, two new underground lines have been built in Athens in the past 10 years, together with a new or greatly altered line linking Athens to Patras, and every single station has access for diabled people. How come the Greeks can afford this?

It is always going to be much easier to include disabled access at the time of design and building.

I'm pretty sure that newer parts of the London Underground have good access for the disabled on the Jubiliee Line - simply because this was part of the design requirement.

So I don't think any new infrastructure in Athens would be much different to anywhere else.

I seem to recall that the cost of adding an extra lane to the M25 exceeded the cost of building the road from scratch. Therefore it might be prohibitively expensive to do much with the station at BP - would be be happy to pay, say another 20 a month for a season ticket ? Most people probably wouldn't.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Station access
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2007, 10:42:23 am »
As said above, there are three stations with proper disable access. If you wanted to give better disabled access you would not start with BP, which is not busy and is a short drive from one of the stations with disabled access. It would make far more sense to start with busy stations like New Barnet. By the time you'd worked your way down to a quiet station like BP you'd have spent a large sum, definitely seven figures, probably eight and possibly nine. And what for? Is there any evidence that fixing the access would help? Because the trains aren't exactly made for disable access and the fairs are prohibitive. How many disable people would use the trains more? And would they prefer the money be spent on something more useful? It is possible that all it would do is give us a nice fuzzy warm feeling that we were doing some good and help lazy people get to the trains more easily.
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2007, 10:47:02 am »
Couple of points.
Max - I appreciate that sooner or later this affliction gets us all but I don't imagine that your mother commutes on the 7 o'clock every morning (good on her if she does, mind).
David - I stand to be corrected but I think that the map pre-dates the commuter lines - it shows the existing fast lines only so is, I believe, correct. I think the second set of tracks were only put in about 50 years ago.
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2007, 07:09:29 pm »
I recall reading sometime ago that the railways didnt have to alter the platforms etc to comply with disabled passengers due to the cost and age of the railway, however they had to provide a dedicated service for disabled passengers at all stations.
I believe they do this by providing a phone no ( First Capital Connect Special Assistance Helpline Telephone 0800 058 2844 Textphone 0800 975 1052 The helpline is open seven days a week, from 0700 to 2200, except on Christmas Day.) and then you can arrange a taxi paid by the railway to take you from the station to the nearest station with disabled facilities.

 

Max

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Re: Station access
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2007, 02:24:51 pm »
How much would it really cost to have access to the station from the car park, though. It might not help disabled people, but it would mean you could drop people with luggage off at the closest possible point to the platform without stopping on the bend where people stop at present. In addition, people arriving late at night would not have to walk back up a dark and unfrequented path with nothing but empty fields on one side and the railway lines on the other. There has already been one murder down the railway path. Not a frequent occurance, I'm happy to say, but I imagine a woman coming back home by the last train would be far happier to leave the station and arrive directly in the village centre. The current set up could almost have been designed with the criminal in mind!

And what about going back to having station masters? The country was supposedly poorer in the 60s than it is today, but there was always someone at the station (I take it some people remember Mary and Don?) to open the gate and take you accross the tracks to the platform if you could not, for whatever reason, cope with the stairs? If then, why not now? Hey, they could even phone the police when observing vandals going to work on the station facilities!

 

John_fraser

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Re: Station access
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2007, 10:37:38 am »
Don't know how much it would cost, but it would be thousands or tens of thousands. It would also slightly reduce the number of car parking spaces. This would not be worth it for dropping people off, as you could drop them off at Potters Bar, which would still have easier access and more trains. For people arriving at night would have to walk through an unlit,  unfrequented car park and not in the centre of the village. I can't see it being any safer than the current set-up.
 

Offline Mary_Morgan

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Re: Station access
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2007, 06:26:40 pm »
Tend to agree with John Fraser on this.   The cost of providing an entrance from the car park is probably too high for the benefit it would give.  It would still be no good for the disabled, elderly and infirm, because the stairs will still be there.   Once I got a driving licence, I always tended to drive to Potters Bar Station, except when the weather conditions told me I would be better not going out on the road, rather than BP or WG.   Used to be a much better service (and went into KX rather than Moorgate).  Not sure the service is much better these days.

I do not remember when the local lines were put in - would guess 50 years is about right.   I doubt that when the station was built they had the option to put the entrance on the east of the line.  Surely this land was privately owned.  I can remember the maisonettes and Station Close being built (great playground in the foundations, where I got a very bloody nose by walking into a plank across them) but cannot clearly recollect what was there before.   

Yes remember Mary (we, and others, shared a copy of the Cork Examiner) and Don (he grew flowers which made the station look much better than it does now) and, even before them, Perce (who knew exactly how much time he had between each stopping train so as to enable him to stroll down to the BPH for a quick pint).     All of them would assist anyone (elderly, infirm or just lazy kids) across the line.  There used to be a wooden walkway just to the north of the platforms to enable an easy walk - is it still there?  Happy days, but I doubt that we will ever get back to that level of service at BP Station.

Cheers.

Mary
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2007, 05:42:39 pm »
Although my station is WG, occasionally I do use BP.  I find it a right pain (literally cos I suffer from joint problems) to have to walk from the car park across a narrow walkway, and down a slope and back up the stairs to get to a platform.  For those with mobility problems (not everyone is lazy - JF!) - it is awkward.  Also it add extra time on if you're running late.

If the ticket office could be relocated to the carpark, not only would this be more secure for carparking as the attendant could also keep an eye on the cars, more convenient and safer for passengers, it means that walkway could be taken off thereby making that narrow road bend wider and safer.  Seems like a very sensible idea.  Grant Shapps?

Haven't people been threatened and mugged coming up the dark alley?
 

John_fraser

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Re: Station access
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2007, 06:39:11 pm »
The ticket office is only manned for a few hours in the morning, when the station and car park is busy and when I doubt any vandalism will happen. The car park is dark and and as convenient for muggers as the other route. The cost of building a new ticket office and lighting the car park as well as changing the bridge would IMHO be too high for minimal benefit.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Station access
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2007, 09:01:04 am »
There used to be a wooden walkway just to the north of the platforms to enable an easy walk - is it still there?

I had a look this morning. There appears to be a short section of this walkway between the south bound tracks just to the north of the south platform. It also looks like this walkway would have taken you to where the gate still stands on the ticket office side of the station.
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2007, 04:47:46 pm »
sounds very sensible, John !
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2007, 05:40:28 pm »
Please dont try to use it though, otherwise there will be a whole new meaning to "pick me up at the station"!!!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 05:41:29 pm by peppermint »
 

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Re: Station access
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2007, 09:07:34 am »
A forum user reminded me that we have a picture on the site that shows how people used to be helped across the tracks if they were unable to use the stairs.

The picture was taken on 22 May, 1969 and is of Ernie Wicks, booking hall clerk and porter at Brookmans Park Station. Ernie retired on June 14, 1969, having served on the railway for 23 years, the last eleven at Brookmans Park. The image is from our history section "North Mymms Pictures From The Past"

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