Meetings with rail officers

2 mins read

Author: Cyril Richert

Meeting with Office of Rail Regulation – 16 November 2009

Attendees:
John Larkinson [Deputy Director ORR]
Nick O’Hara [Head of Corporate and Industry Relations ORR]
Martin Linton [MP for Battersea]
Tony Belton [Leader of Opposition Wandsworth Borough Council]
Cyril Richert [CJAG]
Kate Williams [CJAG]

This meeting was organised by Martin Linton in view of exploring possible funding for the redevelopment of Clapham Junction Station.
We were explained the role of Office of Rail Regulation in regulating Network Rail and making sure that government plans, Network Rail commitment and funding are all addressing their purposes. The current phase of funding is 2009-2013. There are currently limited additional funding immediately available but which we can explore with Network Rail: Network Rail Discretionary Fund (NRDF) [each scheme must not exceed £5m] and National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP) [£165m for 150 stations]. The new planning process for the next government is starting in 2010 such as:

  1. 2010: the industry will come with options (definition of projects and allocations).
  2. 2011: the government will examine a draft proposal.
  3. July 2012: the government will provide new specifications.
  4. 2013: ORR will review, analyse and check the funding for 2014-2019 (CP5).
  5. 2014: project implementation for CP5.

ORR was very receptive to our concerns and confirmed that Network Rail is the first contact to station redevelopment and has an obligation to address projects that they receive (they get a £50m budget to do so). Of course it would be worth to involve the franchise companies (South West Train, Southern) and TfL (for overground and East London Line).

Meeting with Network Rail – 7 January 2010

Martin Linton met with Robin Gisby (Network Rail – Director, Operation and Customer Services) along with colleagues Timothy Potter and Paula Haustead, Lucy Norton (who will be responsible for delivering any improvement project to redevelop the station). Unfortunately, despite Martin Linton’s request, Robin Gisby’s office did not find appropriate for us to attend the meeting, but instead offered another date (to our request) in January (see below).
NR confirmed that Clapham Junction station was their top 2 priority (after Manchester Victoria station , officially branded worst station in Britain in November 2009, which will receive also additional funding from the European Union through their Council). The debate is apparently going on whether to redevelop half of the station well or all of it half-good (er, it is actually more a question of 10% redevelopment or all the station with small repairs and cosmetic improvements I think). NR should present a plan to Lord Adonis, Transport Secretary, on January 20th regarding:

  • Canopy extension.
  • Waiting rooms.
  • More staff.
  • More stairs (from the overpass).
  • Repairs on subway.

The “not so good” news is that only 3 lifts should be in operation (platforms 1/2, 3/4, 5/6) with an additional two coming soon (platforms 7/8, 9/10) but there are delays on the remaining (platforms 11/12, 13/14, 15/16, 17). In addition, as the Brighton Yard building is currently used as a construction site for storage mainly, work for the new station entrance is being delayed and should only be finished by 2011 (which means that CJ won’t be step free before this date).

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CJAG News editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.