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Forest Gate station upgrade delays: Network Rail accused of treating passengers with 'contempt'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 August 2018

Neighbours accused rail bosses of treating passengers with contempt after they extended the finishing date for Forest Gate station's redevelopment. Pic: Steve Poston

Neighbours accused rail bosses of treating passengers with contempt after they extended the finishing date for Forest Gate station's redevelopment. Pic: Steve Poston

Archant

Neighbours have accused rail bosses of treating passengers with contempt as a station upgrade grinds on.

Network Rail estimated it would complete a new ticket hall and lifts – as part of Crossrail work begun at Forest Gate station in 2015 – by the end of the month. However, rail chiefs have pushed the finish date back to the autumn.

Christian Emery of Vansittart Road, Forest Gate, claimed: “Network rail have offered no engineering reasons for the delays. So they either grossly over-promised or they always knew they couldn’t provide the resources to deliver what they promised.

“Either way, they clearly hold the people of Forest Gate generally, and those with disabilities specifically, in contempt,” he said.

Susan Holdroyd of Sebert Road, Forest Gate, alleged: “There seems to have been a complete lack of consideration, sympathy and concern for residents.

“Many times I use the station during the middle of the day and no one’s working there. I don’t see why they couldn’t have made more effort to at least get the stairs sorted, even if the lifts took longer.”

Forest Gate resident Huziafa Malu asked: “Would they have taken this long if this was a station in a more affluent area or borough?”

Fellow Forest Gater Steve Robinson O’Reilly said: “It’s massively frustrating. We have a five month old and need to use a pram. My wife cannot use the station and must find alternative routes. It must be a nightmare for wheelchair users.”

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “Our work at Forest Gate station is nearing completion, with all the larger construction work complete and new trains already using the station.”

She added the ticket office and new stairs will open in the autumn when the temporary footbridge will be taken out of use. The new lifts will be in service as soon as possible afterwards.

“Passengers with disabilities will benefit from the facilities in the new ticket office. We take our responsibility at Forest Gate seriously and will continue to work hard to ensure these can be brought into use as quickly as possible,” she said.

The Elizabeth Line is set to open fully next year.

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