Twickenham Station

South Western Railway in Twickenham station lift accessibility controversy

By Tom Holmes
February 7 2020, 13.50

South Western Railway have come under fire after it emerged that the lifts in the newly renovated Twickenham station haven’t been operational at night.

Twickenham’s MP Munira Wilson and leader of Richmond Council Gareth Roberts today both expressed their concerns at the issue.

The lifts at the station are currently on ‘demonstration mode’ meaning that they always need to be manned and as such, when staff go home around 10:30pm, the lifts stop working.

The issue will be resolved on Sunday (February 9) , but Ms Wilson expressed her disappointment at the lack of communication to customers.

She said: “Somebody should have made it very clear what time the lifts were operational, preferably through signs at the station.

“I think it’s disappointing that communication with passengers has not been better.

“There seems to have been a lot of buck passing between South Western Railway, Network Rail and the developer. Responsibility seems to have fallen between them.”

South Western Railway manage the station, but developers Solum are currently waiting to hand the lifts over to Network Rail, who will manage it centrally after Sunday.

That central management will mean it will be available 24 hours a day.

Ms Wilson added: “Ideally I would like to see a busy station like Twickenham manned until the last train and I would be delighted if South Western Railway could put more staff at the station until later times.”

Ms Wilson had been contacted by a number of concerned constituents, and reiterated that that occurred because of a lack of communication.

Mr Roberts said: “It’s simply not acceptable that South Western Railway are failing to provide a full service during the operational hours of the station.

“I fully accept that any new building is susceptible to teething problems when it first opens but I expect, and local residents expect, that having waited years for this new station that the facilities work when passengers expect them to work.”

A South Western Railway spokesperson confirmed the lifts will be made available 24 hours a day once Solum hand over to Network Rail on Sunday, and are currently operational from 6:15am to 10:30pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 10:30pm on Sunday.

They added: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience to passengers.”

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