Wednesday 2 January 2013

Deptford station woes

Just weeks after our shiny new station was handed over by the contractors, it is looking distinctly shabby; without rapid action by Southeastern it risks becoming a shameful representation of our community.

Quite aside from the appalling level of grime that stems directly from the lack of any meaningful cleaning regime, the station now sports THREE broken glass panels; one at platform level, one on the stairs to the London-bound platform, and a third on the external cladding of the stairwell.

In fact the first shattered panel, the one on the London-bound platform, appeared some months ago. Contrary to the conclusion that many people immediately jumped to, the fracture was not caused by vandalism. Toughened glass is prone to a recognised phenomena of spontaneous fracture due to impurities that can be introduced during the manufacturing process. These tiny inclusions of nickel sulphide expand, causing the glass to fracture dramatically, and this can occur up to a decade after the panel was made. The first panel shows the distinctive 'butterfly wings' shape at the centre of the fracture that is said to indicate this method of failure (see the details in the link).

My brief inspection today indicated that vandals have indeed now been at the panel, perhaps trying to make the shattered glass fall apart completely, and it now sports several impact marks.

The panel in the photo below, which is halfway up the stairs to this platform, seems to have been fractured by impact, with a noticeable dent on the upper edge of the glass. Today was the first time I noticed it, although I am not a frequent user of the station so perhaps it has been there for longer.

On the outer cladding, the damage to one of the huge panels is very noticeable, but the jury is still out on the cause of damage here, and I believe a stepladder will be necessary to investigate further. 

I understand that a group of local residents has been pursuing Southeastern for a couple of months already, asking for a meeting with the person responsible for managing Deptford station. (Whether any progress has been made on this is unclear, perhaps if anyone knows they can add it in the comments.)

But it's clear that action is required as a matter of urgency. There is an immediate need to repair the damage (whatever the cause); Southeastern must investigate the matter further, and implement any changes necessary to prevent further incidences; and the issue of future cleaning and maintenance of our station also needs to be taken seriously.

With all the money, time and effort that has gone into giving the station a facelift, it would be criminal if it was allowed to deteriorate into the same scruffy state its predecessor was famous for. Surely Lewisham Council, which contributed the lion's share of the funding for this work, can put some pressure on Southeastern to address this matter?


Just. Hangsing said...

We should all write a petition to southeastern!!! Starting with our area councillor and MP.

Unknown said...

I've just complained myself to SouthEastern, lets hope they listen.

I've tried contacting our MP on other issues without success.

Anonymous said...

There is often a pile of pigeon poo outside the bottom lift on the approach from London - birds are nesting due to missing ceiling tiles.

Also the place still smells of wee...makes me gag each night I get off.

Anonymous said...

The amount of filth and all that piss is quite amazing.
The lift is horrible.

Anonymous said...

And in a brand new station, I am amazed that there sheltered waiting area.

Just. Hangsing said... you mind putting on the link how we could raise our concern to SouthEastern - So everyone could write to them! The more the better.

Maybe all of us should do a clean up and beautification of our train station.

neil said...

Does anyone know if the "group of local residents" has a name or contact email? I'd be interested in getting involved too.

Keep up the good reporting work DD!

Monkeyboy said...

It may be that it's been signed of for use but not accepted into South Eastern ownership so the maintenance is being looked after by the contractor, especially if there is a snag involving the glass?

That can happen at at the end of a project. Piss poor.

Deptford Dame said...

@anon 8.48 I noticed today that they seem to have replaced the ceiling tiles that had allowed access for pigeons to roost, so hopefully that will make a difference. Unfortunately I don't see any solution to the urine problem, as we've discussed on these pages before, some people just think it's ok to urinate in public places.

@just hangsing you can make a complaint either by phone or via Southeastern's website but don't expect the first response to be either rapid or useful. It's worth persisting, although you do need to be bloody minded about it, and if you are not happy with the responses you are getting you can ask for a manager call-back from the call centre.

@neil if you email me your contact details I will put you in touch with the people I know who are following this up. My email address is in the sidebar.

@monkeyboy I will check that with my contact and try to find out

Unknown said...

dear all

i have been having a long correspondence with SE about this.

the trail went dead when the person i was talking to left her position leaving someone else ot contact me - they of course have not
the latest snail mail i have had form them - November said that they had bought cleaning equipment and were training staff to use it - clearly not happened yet as the PIgeon dropping outside the down track lift - also covering the seating - have not as yet been cleaned up.
I will be in touch with them on monday and start the ball rolling again.

I have asked for meetings with area managers but was consistently fobbed off - i was not around for the last 'meet the managers meeting at Charing Cross - I will find out when the next one is.

there does seem to be some steam behind a local action group.

Sue said...

Can someone confirm whether Network Rail have anything to do with this? Thanks.

Unknown said...

I had recieved an email back from Southeastern...

Dear Mr Thomson

Thank you for your e-mail which we received on 2 January 2013.

I'm sorry that you're unhappy with the condition of Deptford station. Our stations form an important part of the overall travel experience. They’re people's first point of entry and very often form the first and last impression of our company. It's important that they're regularly cleaned and maintained to a good standard. I'm sorry that this has not been your experience.

I'll ask our station manager to investigate the position as soon as possible and see how we can improve the situation

Once again, I'm sorry for the conditions that you experienced. I hope that you'll notice an improvement soon.

Yours sincerely

Annette Goldsmith

I hope something comes of this

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