Transport for London has agreed to locate a help point on platform four at Brentwood station,
reversing its earlier view that one on a footbridge at the top of a steep flight of steps was sufficient.
The Brentwood Bus and Rail Users’ Association has been campaigning for the help point to be reinstated
on the Shenfield-bound platform for several months and had received a blank refusal until it wrote earlier this autumn to TfL Commissioner Mike Brown.
Now TfL is to install a temporary help point close to the barriers on platform four in the next few days,
and has committed to providing a permanent one within the next three months. The temporary point will remain in place until then.
BBARUA Vice-Chair Cllr David Jobbins said: “This is great news for all rail travellers using Brentwood station but especially for those with mobility issues,
or unable to tackle a flight of steps to the help point on the footbridge.
“Other platforms had a help point and it is unfortunate that platform four, which lacks a passenger lift to the footbridge and ticket office, was without one.
Now users will be able to obtain information about services and summon assistance if they feel threatened or vulnerable. In particular,
travellers with disabilities will be able to obtain help without having to make a lengthy trek to the booking hall via Station Parade and Kings Road.
“We know that the platform barrier is often not staffed in the evenings after the ticket office closes and TfL personnel cannot be everywhere on the station.
But it is at night that travellers are rightly concerned that they may encounter issues, while people with disabilities are completely
cut off from any way of seeking help because of the stairs.
“Welcome though this news from TfL is, the BBARUA will continue to campaign with Brentwood Access Group and others for a lift on
platform four so that all passengers can reach the ticket office and other platforms without undue difficulty.”
Currently 97 stations are scheduled for projects to improve access and the Department for Transport said in April that these would be completed by March 2024. Brentwood was not on the list, despite originally being due to have a lift on platform four when lifts were installed on the other two platforms some years ago.
In July the government announced a £20 million fund to improve stations for people with disabilities but it covers minor works and not projects such as the lift installation at Brentwood, which has proved more costly than anticipated.
The Rail Ombudsman is an independent, not-for-profit organisation. They offer a free, expert service to help sort out unresolved customer complaints about service providers within the rail industry.
"Our vision is to inspire customer confidence and to deliver our service fairly to ensure the right outcome in every case. We also support the rail industry to raise standards."
Cycling event at Shenfield Station and survey
A cycling engagement event took place outside Shenfield railway station on Wed 28 Nov 2018 This was a joint event between Cycle Brentwood and MTR Crossrail/TfL Rail.
The aim of the event was to encourage cycling in the area, publicise the work of Cycle Brentwood and help cyclists with anything they may need to keep riding.
There is a Cycle Brentwood survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cyclebrentwood01
Funding for Platform 4 access
Brentwood Access Group has been campaigning for over three years for access to platform 4 from the Brentwood Station booking office. Network Rail had claimed that a culvert had prevented the installation of a lift.
However, they did admit that with additional funding, a lift could be provided. The Brentwood Access Group had pointed out that all stations on the Elizabeth line were having major upgrades but Brentwood was being treated as second class.
The Brentwood Access Group together with the Brentwood MP, Alex Burghart and with the backing of Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association has applied for funding for these essential works.