Open the Platform 4 gate at Lewisham railway station, all day every day, and add standalone Oyster readers to it
This petition had 659 supporters
In January 2013 Southeastern finally achieved their long-term aim to make commuters' lives more difficult by closing the gate that allows direct access to/from Platform 4 at Lewisham railway station from/to Silk Mills Path.
They'd been trying to do this for many years but it had been rejected by the Department for Transport (DfT) repeatedly. The difference last year was that this time they concocted a spurious safety argument, claiming the gate discharged people onto a busy road, which is pretty ridiculous when Station Road (main exit from the station) is far busier than Silk Mills Path (a short cul-de-sac of about 8 houses).
Meanwhile, large numbers of new dwellings such as Silkworks and Silvermill have gone up on the east side of Lewisham station in recent years, adding to the already significant number of people approaching the station from that side and having to walk all the way around the front of the station, increasing their walking time by about half the time their train will take to reach London Bridge once they finally get to it!
But the final straw is that from May 2014, for over a year, the eastern arm of Station Road is shut for the major Lewisham Gateway development to be built there (including a rerouted Station Road). This adds yet more minutes to the walk around as pedestrians need to go all the way past the roundabout, along to the front of Lewisham DLR station and up the other stretch of Station Road to get to the railway station.
This problem could be resolved by simply opening the Platform 4 gate up all day every day and adding a pair of normal standalone Oyster readers near it, as is commonplace at numerous other ungated exits (e.g. at Hither Green and Blackheath to name just two, both only one stop away by train).
I know the council and the developers are keen to see this happen so I dare say they may even be able to contribute (e.g. via Section 106) to the capital funding for installing the Oyster readers. Tesco might also be interested in doing so if it encourages commuters to pass their shop on Silk Mills Path!
I don't know what Southeastern's excuse is for not being able to treat Lewisham commuters the same as Hither Green and Blackheath ones but I'd love to hear it. Let's get this petition well signed and then see what they have to say in response!
(Photo from the News Shopper, hope they don't mind its reuse)
Additional info: Just a quick update to mention that, as covered in the message signatories can send to Southeastern below, reopening this exit is a 'quick fix' but the longer-term aim should still be to install a proper exit at the foot of the Platform 4 stairwell.
This was originally planned but Southeastern changed their minds and didn't put this in, but it still appears as wanted in the Council's masterplan for the area, and would be more accessible and more generally suitable than the existing Platform 4 gate. The key here, though, is that word 'existing': this work is now happening so the need is urgent. Open the gate we've got now; build the gate we need for the future. Doing nothing should not be an option.
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