Two Angry Men - Part 1: Brockley Station

Today's first angry man is Chris, who writes:

Please can you run a story about how the people at Brockley Station now both close the barriers and lock the gate from 9pm at Brockley station east side, so everyone, (disabled, luggaged, pushchaired, or bicycled) has to go up the stairs (ironically past the leaflets entitled ‘making rail accessible’). 

It may stop fare-jumpers who go through the gate, but it would not be necessary if they kept someone on the barriers. The long-suffering staff hate it and encourage people to complain – but that is not enough; so over to you. 

Chris is right, it's annoying. Though of course, public services are under pressure to find savings, so not paying people to stand by a gate may be one of the more palatable measures. What say you, Brockley?

41 comments:

Stefan said...

Many stations have open ticket barriers so I don't see why they'd need someone to man the gate. Or maybe someone has to come back and lock the gate when the station shuts, which must be super expensive, and far outweighing the minor inconvenience of ascending stairs in a wheelchair.

Katy said...

Anyone know what has suddenly made them decide to shut the gates at night? It's really poor show for people who have mobility issues and who (rightly!) expect to be able to have step-free access!

Essael Bosch said...

Even keeping someone on the barriers creates a load of bollocks. Once I was trying to get through late at night with a suitcase and a load of other bags, and the wide barrier was locked. Instead of unlocking it or helping me, the guy manning the barriers just watched as I struggled, eventually getting trapped in the narrower barrier and nearly breaking my finger. Only then did he deign to assist.

dan said...

Brockley station is not a "public service" that needs to make savings - it is part of a highly profitable rail and underground network whose prices have risen considerably in recent years. The gates should be usable after 9pm.

Rose Bud said...

The ticket office was completely closed at 9am today, when asked why we had to go the long way round the lady there said 'because the doors are closed'. dur! some explanation would have have been nice.

Kate said...

The staff at Brockley station are in my experience generally grumpy, rude and unhelpful. Today for no known reason they decided to close the main ticket office so everyone had to go back down the stairs and through the small barriers on platform 2. Last night they had closed both the barriers and the big gate on platform two so we all had to scramble up the stairs and then there was a massive bottleneck trying to get out as only two of the barriers were open and the member of staff there was just standing watching everyone struggle.... why not keep the barriers working on platform two because then at least you can get out without having to use the stairs? but then that might be too much of a sensible suggestion

Will said...

I agree, it's a big inconvenience for everyone, not to mention a big problem for anyone who can't use the stairs. What is the point of spending all that money on the new ticket barriers only to shut them down and make people walk the long way round? If enough people complain to London Overgound, hopefully we can get this changed. Here's the form to fill in: https://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/contact/overground/default.aspx

Overground Commuter said...

A silly decision considering they keep the secondary barriers open at Sydenham during the evening. If people have problems, they can contact someone using the help point who'll open the gate for them.

Crofty said...

Very annoying. I get home from work around 11pm each night, and there never used to be any one manning the gates at that time - the new turnstiles were closed but they kept the side gate open, so just took it on faith that people were touching out on the Oyster system you walk past. I would presume that the problem was they found that lots of people weren't bothering to swipe if they didn't have to - I know that every night I'd go through, the people bothering to beep their card were being stampeded past those who didn't bother. So very annoying if people were not just dodging fares but now making life more annoying for those of us who were, and now have to troop up and down the stairs...

Kriss said...

It may not be a "public service" but it's heavily subsidised by the Department for Transport - which means the train-traveling public is paying for it twice. Part of the reason why they are closing those gates is because that subsidy is being cut by Gideon and his merry helpers at the Treasury - which means higher fares. Rail passengers - it's thought - should make more of a contribution and shouldn't be subsidised by hard working families who wouldn't dare get on a train - or possibly couldn't at rush hour anyway. Thank god for my bike.

Syd said...

The rail service is privatised. They charge a fortune, they should provide an accessible service. I have to agree the staff at brockley station are taciturn at best and rude when pushed for information. The attitude is abysmal.

RP said...

London Cannon Street often has the barriers open from 8pm, so why can't Brockley?

Loopdeloop said...

Surely the revenue lost from fare dodgers is less than a manned working barrier ? Leave it open, unmanned and allow the rest of us that pay...which is considerably more than don't....complete access to our station !

david gest said...

how about free train travel, eh?

Fat Controller said...

Rude staff, ticket office often left unmanned etc etc.

Service fine unless you want to use it between 7.50 and 8.30, Overground trains bursting (yes i know an extra carriage is on its way eventually) meanwhile "Southern are sorry for delays" being serenaded to you over the speakers.

Grr

Rose Bud said...

I think some of the people working there are very nice: the young man with the beard, the older smiley lady, but the others can be slightly brusque. I don't expect anyone to fawn over me, or a 24 hour manned service, just tell me why the ticket office is closed at peak time. I got the impression it was a fault in the building rather than something that was going to happen all the time, but a notice would have been nice.

Tessa said...

Have you tried stairs in a wheelchair! NOT the 'minor inconvenience' as you put it!

roger dodger said...

When the side gate or barriers are open and people don't bother tap out with the Oyster card, it is often because it is not necessary because they have already paid upfront for week/month/year season ticket. They are not fare dodgers.

Monkeyboy said...

The station is "owned" by the Overground which is a TfL service so they can set the service levels. It's not a private TOC issue

dave said...

whoosh!

fred said...

while we're on the subject, why is that portion of the line cancelled every bloody weekend?

Asya Kovarsky said...

Speaking of people with wheelchairs - even if the bottom gate is open, how would they get to the other side of the platform, if they needed to travel north...?

Michael said...

I've sent a message through this.

Michael said...

"Engineering works". That old chestnut-hued panacea. It'd be useful to know what exactly Network Rail are doing and why it needs a new line to be closed pretty much every Sunday and on some Saturdays. It's not quite as bad as the Clapham Junction branch closures, but "engineering works" needs to be elaborated a little.

Michael said...

They wouldn't. That's why a lift is, staggeringly slowly, being installed there.

Dex said...

I've also sent a message. Given the cost of the ticket barriers is paid for from rail fares and through tax revenues, they should be available for use!

lorenzo vicenzo said...

alot of the overground runs on existing lines which are old and desperately in need of maintenance. other times lines are closed due to works further down the line in places like Whitechapel due to crossrail engineering works etc etc. needless to say the closures are all needed

brockleyflower said...

Apparently this morning everyone had to go over to platform one via the bridge because.... wait for it.... the staff had locked themselves out. I kid you not, came from one of the staff!

Leila said...

I have complained too. Travelling from Brockley is a trial at the best of times. I'm sure the trains have been much later in the last few weeks as well.

Ian Culshaw said...

I'm almost 500% sure that was sarcastic...

Ali said...

They've done the same at Lewisham - I think permanently - chaining shut the gate leading onto Lewisham Road opposite Granville Park. At least there's a lift - but when it's not working I don't know what people who can't use stairs are supposed to do - and it causes huge congestion at the exit from that platform. Why they can't have an open ticket barrier there I don't know, as they exist elsewhere. I guess there would be a cost, and profit's more important than people, even in service provisions, as we know...

Ali said...

And then meanwhile...http://londonist.com/2013/11/ticketoffices.php

ArabinClaire said...

I spoke to the nice young bloke with a beard and he said it was due to staff cuts. They can't leave the barriers unmanned, and they aren't allowed to open the gate before a certain time.
I have complained via the TFL form - https://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/contact/overground/default.aspx. You can also get a freepost form from the station ticket office - the chap encouraged me to fill it out! I guess they are fed up with all the complaints.

Dale said...

Brockley station needs to be going forward not backwards
with becoming accessible to all.. I’ve also complained via the TFL form and yes I
did signpost the DDA.

guest said...

Brockley proves Einsten's relativity theory. No need to go to the moon and come back to prove that time passes at different speed in different locations...



In fact if one went from Brockley to London Bridge in 2007 and came back in 2013 at the speed of light(train), on his way back he would know that within the same period the Shard was designed, built and opened to the public, while in Brockley the station remains without the long promised lifts.

Cyclist said...

This also renders the brand-new bike rack inside of the station gates totally unusable. Put that into my complaint.

outrageous said...

It is not beyond the wit of man to extend the intercom system to some central location that can handle calls from customers that need to use the street level gate after the office is closed.

Instead they do this!

Why?

My guess is, it was not thought through and they just made an arbitrary cut in hours without assessing its impact and the clear conflict with other policies that are supposed to assist access to stations.

Not very good!

Naomi Hannay said...

every time i use Brockley station i am reminded just how rude and unhelpful the staff there try to be at all times!

PeoplesAssemblySEL said...

Too often with austerity arguments 'practical changes' manifest as a deterioration of services for ordinary people. Think big, think better.

Michael said...

So they spend all that money, and their excuse is they havfen't any to fund the staff???!!! Gee, this is ironic - or more apt, totally mismanaged by dweebs in business suits designing something not having enough projection for the future.

Carys said...

I've just made a complaint about this, and would encourage others to do the same. https://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/contact/overground/default.aspx

Yesterday, I pressed the buzzer to be let through the accessible gate. After five minutes, a member of staff came downstairs and asked why I needed the gate opening, looking me up and down. Clearly he was not aware that not all disabilities are visible, and it is wholly inappropriate to ask a customer to justify their need to use step-free access. I proceeded to debate this point with the member of staff for over five minutes before I was grudgingly let through.

I am completely sure that this is discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010, which supersedes the DDA. The crucial bit I think is here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/19

To prevent step-free access to disabled people is clearly not a proportionate means of revenue protection.

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