Congestion and Overcrowding problems at Denmark Hill Station

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Dear Govia Thameslink Railway Limited,
I would like to find out what you are doing to reduce the overcrowding across the entire station concourse during peak hours.
Are you and Network Rail working on any possible suggestions to reduce this? Are you considering to put a business case for a second station entrance/exit to be built on Windsor Walk.
Putting out extra station staff is not working at the moment. A MP from the Denmark hill area told that a one-way system is in the works to be put into place during Christmas period 2018/2019, is this correct?
I urge you to help the rail commuters who use the station to: a) to help and put a business case for a possible second entrance/exit to be built to Network Rail and Department for Transport, b) bring back the old station (pre-2014) entrance/exit (where the cafe is now) into temporary use with ticket/oyster barriers to relieve pressure on the small (current) station entrance/exit.

We (Denmark Hill Rail Communters) need action to be done to improve the regular congestion problems during AM/PEAK hours. Passengers numbers at the station will gradually get higher over the coming years if action is not done
Yours faithfully,

B.Edwards

Comments, Govia Thameslink Railway Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us. 

Please accept this acknowledgement as confirmation that we have received
your query, there is no need to chase us for a reply as we will get back
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Kind regards

Southern Customer Relations

Govia Thameslink Railway Limited

Dear Mr Edwards

Thank you for contacting us regarding Denmark Hill station.

You'll be pleased to know that as from the 21/12/2018 a one way system is
due to be implemented. This will help with the overall structure and
impact of the current issues you have raised.

I hope that you will see an improvement when you travel us next time.

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Kind regards

Aaron Mall
Southern Customer Services

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Dear Govia Thameslink Railway Limited,
It has shown to be that the one-way system you introduced at Denmark Hill Station has failed at work since 21/12/2018. Passengers are choosing to ignore the one-way system, the staff at the station are either shown to be talking to one other or on their mobiles at the ticket barriers ignoring to help the overcrowding situation. We need this to be re-looked at as this system is unreliable for passengers to adapt to. The current station layout isn't conducive to one way operation with the narrow staircases and it can't easily be made compliant. We don't think the manager at Denmark Hill Station is doing any good at improving the station. Passengers are choosing to use the old-staircases to their preference and there is no staff present to prevent this. This station is expected to increase in passenger numbers in the coming years, we need a long-term solution to sustain this.
We would like to bring to your attention there is an on-going petition to DFT by the Denmark Hill Passengers to allow the station to be funded with an additional station entrance/exit.

I also have some more questions (in paragraphs) in relation to Denmark Hill which I will also be liked answered separately:

Could you open up a temporary station entrance/exit for the time being possibly near the nearby bus stop or on Windsor walk as a short-term solution? (This one-way solution is useless and unreliable). Employing a number of staff to try enforcing a one-way system will distract you (GTR) from a proper extra capacity solution. In my opinion, the best interim solution is a temporary entrance on Champion Park with card readers, feeding with steps from the newer underused passenger (Access for All) footbridge directly. This could be entry only during the morning rush, switching to exit only in the evening rush. It would encourage more people to use the new bridge during the busiest hours of operation, hopefully taking enough pressure off the main entrance and old bridge to prevent the gross overcrowding and queues. (Please take this into consideration!!!)
Back in 2011/2012, the station had a temporary station entrance/exit situated by Windsor Walk when the station was ongoing with the works of a new station entrance/exit and AFA footbridge at the time.

The current station entrance is incredibly tiny for the number of commuters using the station daily and it simply can't cater at busy times to allow for people entering and leaving buying tickets and trying to view the train times at the departure boards (which are at an inconvenient angle). The passageways can be blocked for ages at times with people trying to get in and out at the same time which must be a safety hazard. Health / Safety? The station doesn't have any emergency fire exits (Only one exit) which is not as good as if the current station entrance/exit was blocked what would be the alternative?

Could the Original station booking hall (Where the Phoenix pub is currently situated) be looked into bringing back into railway use? As this would have plenty of space to have additional gates and would ease overcrowding during the Peak (AM / PM) hours. Doesn't Network Rail own the space to the original booking hall currently?

We drastically need more live departure boards along where the AFA footbridge stairs are, as at the London-end of the platforms where the current boards are - it can be extremely overcrowded by the original (old) staircase during the morning rush hour. This would encourage more people to use the AfA footbridge I reckon with boards towards the Kent Direction?

Could you lengthen the platforms form current 8 cars to 12 as this would lead to a dramatic increase in capacity which would be excellent news for GTR (you) and Network Rail?

Would it be POSSIBLE to have a Meet the Manager session at Denmark Hill Station at some point this year to allows us (passengers) to discuss our feedback to the managers!

Yours faithfully,

B.Edwards

Comments, Govia Thameslink Railway Limited

Dear Sir/Madam

We appreciate you taking the time to contact us. 

Please accept this acknowledgement as confirmation that we have received
your query, there is no need to chase us for a reply as we will get back
to you as soon as we can and our aim is to provide a full response within
10 working days. Please do not reply to this email.

You may also refer to our FAQs
at https://www.southernrailway.com/help-and...

Kind regards

Southern Customer Relations

Neil Briggs,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Edwards

 

Thank you for getting in touch with us regarding Denmark Hill station. I
appreciate you taking the time to raise your concerns with us.

 

I appreciate that Denmark Hill station can get incredibly busy at peak
times and occasionally this can result in delays for customers entering
and exiting the station. Many of our stations date back to Victorian times
and despite recent upgrades, peak passenger flows can still cause
crowding. The crowd management system you are describing has been
implemented to speed up passenger flows and help provide a better
all-round customer experience. 

 

Safety is at the centre of everything we do and is our number one
priority. Complaints such as yours are taken incredibly seriously and I
can assure you that it will receive the level of attention it deserves.

I have raised this directly with the Denmark Hill station manager. The
station manager will be meeting with a member of senior management at
Denmark Hill this week and they will be observing passenger flows during
peak times. Following this the station manager will be able to adjust the
crowd management system, signage or staffing if required.

 

I regret to say that currently there is no plan to either open the
Champion Hill entrance or the original booking hall. The decision to make
either of these changes would be outside of our control and funding would
need to be provided by the DfT. Similarly, platform extensions would also
be outside of our control and likewise, there are no current plans to
undertake this work.

 

We will continue to monitor the situation at Denmark Hill and ongoing
changes will be made to create a system that provides the most convenient
customer experience.

 

Thank you again for raising this with us.

 

Kind rgeards

 

Neil Briggs

HQ Customer Relations

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)

 

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Govia Thameslink Railway Limited

Registered in England and Wales No. 07934306.

Registered office: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1
6EE

Head office: 1st & 2nd Floor, Monument Place, 24 Monument St, London EC3R
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