Author: Cyril Richert
Clapham Junction station entrance on Grant Road had major refurbishment in 2012 in order to accommodate the overground line extension. 6 months later, the new lift to give a step free access to the platforms is no longer working and the help/ticket desk is desperately closed!
The lift at the Grant Road Exit at Clapham Junction was broken at the end of June. There was a sign on the lift saying “broken until further notice“. This causes considerable inconvenience as disable people cannot get any help on Grant Road side (the help/ticket desk is also closed) to access the platform on that side; they have to battle their way through the busy tunnel to the other exit at the other side of the station, the St Johns Hill Exit, then they have to push the wheel chair up St Johns Hill, re-enter via the Brighton Yard entrance and battle their way back through the station toward the Grant Road entrance to get the train they should have been able to have boarded without the twenty minute detour.
John Marshall, a local resident, said:
“The lift has been broken for three weeks so there is no disabled access to the platforms. Are South West Trains (who are responsible for the upkeep) interested? Nope. Are the regulators who are supposed to be overseeing the rail operators interested? Nope (unsurprisingly as they are funded by the train companies). Have you noticed that there is no ticket office at that entrance (tough for anyone who cannot operate the automated ticket machines).“
He spoke with a representative at South West Trains customer relations and was disappointed with the response, which basically was that there was a lot of lifts to maintain at all the stations and that it was the responsibility of the lift companies.
Mr Marshall commented:
“I would have thought a two hour lift repair target would be a reasonable expectation for such an essential lift within a busy station. For South West Trains to brush aside the problems caused to the disabled community by having broken lifts for five days indicates an uncaring philosophy, one which should be addressed with the utmost of urgency.“
Sarah Lewis from the London TravelWatch said:
“South West Trains (SWT) have advised me that they are currently working through a backlog of complaints, and are currently dealing with complaints dated 10 June 2013. SWT are trying to work through these as quickly as possible, and have asked that I pass on their apologies for the delay. They have advised that you allow a further two weeks to receive a response from them.“
Last but not least, don’t expect to get any help from the help/ticket desk in Grant Road station side:
If you too experience some difficulties with Grant Road entrance, and wish to complain, you can contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org [case: 238359]