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I was unable to drop in to the Crossrail exhibition in the Knee Community Hall
yesterday due to a prior engagement in the Socialist Republic of Newham; a
neighbour went to the exhibition in my place.
The temporary station lifts have been the subject of some controversy as they have not always been available since the opening nearly four weeks ago. Platform 1 requires a minimum of 72 steps. More when accessing it via the ticket hall.
The lifts are a bit of a joke really, even for temporary ones. Large wheelchairs and ‘twin’ buggies are excluded. To stop people getting themselves stuck in them (the Platform 1 lift has torturous access) they are now station staff operated only. Network Rail told my neighbour the station will now be staffed continuously to cater for any revellers on wheels turning up for the last train. 00:53.
As I approached the station this afternoon a man in a yellow jacket was pushing a lady in a wheelchair along Wilton Road. Why he was wearing the yellow jacket I have no idea because he was in no way connected with the railway. I followed him through the barrier towards the lift and went back to alert the station attendant. He lost no time in coming to the passengers’ aid.
The timestamps on the photos shows it took four minutes from pressing the lift button to the man’s head appearing above. Presumably it would be much the same on the way down. One train was missed, it might easily have been two but I didn’t hang around to see.
There was no room in the lift for the lady’s companion who had to walk up with her sticks and bag.
According to the Network Rail man at the exhibition, the plan is to install the usual 18-20 people capacity lifts when the new station is completed but as I said to the always helpful station attendant, “you’ve got three years of this”.
My neighbour reported that the most vociferous questioning came from people
wanting to know how much longer Bexley council’s five year
eyesore across the
road (the site of the Harrow Inn) was going to blight the area. Unless it can be
made the terminus for an Overground extension from Barking it’s not something Network
Rail can be expected to know about.
Index to past Crossrail blogs.