As many train commuters know, time can pass very slowly. A minute in real time and a minute in railway time can be worlds apart - especially when you are waiting for the train that the indicator says is only a couple of minutes away.
A similar phenomena seems to have afflicted matters at our local station of late, or perhaps it's just some kind of weird rupture in the space-time continuum or whatever they say on Star Trek. Whatever the cause, time just seems to pass, deadlines come and go, and days turn into weeks and months...
You've heard all about the Deptford station saga, I'll wager - either you've read it here, or on Crosswhatfields, or you've heard people moaning about it on Twitter perhaps.
If it feels like we've been moaning about it for months, that because we have! Not just bloggers, but also a small group of local residents who have been wrangling with South Eastern's 'feedback' system for months, trying to get meaningful responses and promises of action with little success.
Lewisham Council, which paid some of the cost of building the new station, shrugged off its responsibilities to Network Rail, which in turn passed it on to South Eastern Railways, where the buck finally stopped.
But despite endless complaints from the very people who use the station, it wasn't until we nagged the local press to get involved that any progress was made.
The week after this front page story in the South London Press, Southeastern Railways was suddenly and rapidly galvanised into action. Within days Deptford had three hours of cleaning time allocated every week day - a staff member on loan from Greenwich station twice a day - and there was a commitment for a proper deep clean of the station, to remove some of the ingrained dirt that has built up since the opening, and enable the regular cleaning to have more impact.
An initial commitment to have the deep clean done by the end of February slipped to a 'definite' date of 18th March, which has now slipped to a date of next Monday 25th.
No explanations or apologies have been offered for this lack of action, and we understand that the only reason we can be fairly certain the deep clean will happen next week, is that MP Joan Ruddock (who claimed a lot of the credit for getting the station refurb done in the first place) will be present for the official opening of the station.
Nice to see that Southeastern is pulling out all the stops for our local MP, who I'll bet rarely has cause to take a train from here. Be assured, your local train operator would not make such an effort on behalf of the fare-payers who endure these conditions day after day.
*Update: there is a meeting on Tuesday 24th March in Greenwich about a potential Greenwich-line rail users group. See 853 blog for more info http://853blog.com/2013/03/23/will-the-greenwich-line-get-a-rail-users-group-find-out/