The Anonymous Widower

Greater Anglia Submits Bid to Improve Colchester Station

The title of this post is the same as that as this article on Rail Advent.

Colchester station is a busy station, that handles four and a half million passengers in a year.

The main stations on the Great Eastern Main Line have following passenger numbers in millions.

  • Shenfield – 4 – Fully step-free
  • Ingatestone – 0.8
  • Chelmsford – 8.5 – Fully step-free
  • Hatfield Peverel – 0.4
  • Witham – 2.5 – Fully step-free
  • Kelvedon – 0.8
  • Marks Tey – 0.6
  • Colchester – 4.5 – Partially step-free
  • Manningtree – 1.2 – Fully step-free
  • Ipswich 3.3 – Fully step-free
  • Needham Market – 0.1
  • Stowmarket – 1.0 – Going step-free
  • Diss – 0.7
  • Norwich – 4.4 – Fully step-free

I think it is fairly obvious, that the the very busy Great Eastern Main Line has not been high in the queue for full step-free access.

As the article says, Colchester has a lift on one side of the station, there is only a wheelchair stair lift on a staircase on the other side.

Why did one of the busiest stations on the line get only half a solution?

Probably, a civil servant who lives in leafy Surrey, said “Colchester has two entrances! Their driver can come round! And it’s only East Anglia!”

There are developments, that are happening, that make updated step-free access at Colchester station absolutely essential.

  • Greater Anglia are replacing the train fleet and all those new trains will attrract more passengers.
  • All the new trains are step-free between train and platform.
  • Greater Anglia will be increasing the frequency of trains between Colchester and Stowmarket and probably in other sections of the route as well.
  • Greater Anglia are introducing a new service between Sudbury and Colchester Town. Wheelchair passengers between London and Sudbury will need to change at Colchester, as Marks Tey is not step-free.
  • Greater Anglia is extending the Peterborough and Ipswich service to Colchester. This will surely increase the number of passengers wanting to cross over at Colchester.

The current system will work until three people turn up in wheelchairs at the same time.

Greater Anglia will get it in the neck, when the fault lies with the civil servants’ belief that East Anglia is a backwater that doesn’t need good facilities.

Other Stations

These stations on the Great Eastern Main Line has no step-free access or plans to install it.

  • Ingatestone
  • Hatfield Peverel
  • Kelvedon
  • Marks Tey
  • Needham Market
  • Diss

Note.

  1. Strangely, Ingatestone is probably the most important, as when the line is closed for engineering works, it is used as a bus interchange.
  2. Marks Tey is also important, because of interchange between Sudbury and London. Watch this one as Pritti Patel is the MP.
  3. Diss has had serious disabled access problems in the past.
  4. Needham Market could be difficult, but Stowmarket is an alternative.

All the stations between Liverpool Street and Shenfield will be fully step-free, when Crossrail is completed.

Conclusion

Personally, I feel that the whole Great Eastern Main Line should be made step-free.

 

December 23, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Witham is also important for step-free, it is also sometimes used as bus interchange during engineering works. I agree all the stations should eventually be step-free, although it might actually be cheaper for smaller, quieter branch line stations to be served by “on demand” dial and ride to a better equipped interchange station.

    I do wonder how much of the usage figures at Ingatestone/Witham are due to engineering bus replacements, or are these excluded from the count (with the original ticket destination credited, although I have had electronic tickets with destination “ZNP”-Newbury park, when there has been a replacement bus service–won’t how that is handled for the stats for TfL Newbury park figures or overall line figures–are there stats for GA-ZNP annual users?)

    Comment by MilesT | December 23, 2019 | Reply


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