Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Breaking News: Whitton Station awarded Access for All Funding

Today 29th April the Minister for Transport, Stephen Hammond MP, announced that Whitton Station is to be awarded a share of an additional  £100m in Access for All funding to provide better access facilities for the station.

This funding announcement follows local Cllr Gareth Elliott's invitation to the Minister to Whitton to see for himself the dismal state of Whitton Station's facilities and discuss the issues with residentsIt is welcome news for residents who have been cut off from the station due to its steep step access.

Cllr Gareth Elliott said: "This is fantastic news for Whitton's residents currently cut off from the station. For the elderly, those with children and the disabled this will act as a lifeline. I am happy that the Minister has acted following his visit and proud that this is another record of action for Whitton's Conservatives who continue to deliver for Whitton.

This is not the end however and I will continue to push the RFU and Network Rail to build in this announcement to deliver a station fit for purpose and ready for the future.

To read the Written Ministerial Statement from the Conservative Minister of State for Transport, Stephen Hammond MP, click here

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Whitton Station Summit - Inadequate Station Discussed

Cllr Gareth Elliott chairing the Summit
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond today attended a public meeting hosted by Councillor Gareth Elliott to discuss the poor state of Whitton railway station.  Nearly 100 local residents attended the meeting to express their concern and find out what action was being taken to improve matters.

Minister for Transport, Stephen
Hammond MP, addressing
Whitton residents
Councillor Elliott said, “The station is well overdue for refurbishment and it’s especially regrettable that no work has been done to ensure that there is safe access to trains for all those who need to travel.  Whitton is an important town in the borough and should be served by a modern railway station.”

One resident remarked  that to his knowledge no remedial work had been conducted since the early 1960s.  All those at the meeting agreed that the station needed to be updated at the earliest opportunity for the safety of passengers and to enhance the town centre.  It was disgraceful that SW Trains had let Whitton residents down by not ensuring that the station met all the modern requirements expected by the travelling public.

Cllr Gareth Elliott and Whitton
Candidate Grant Healy with
the Minister
Stephen Hammond reassured residents and said, “It is important to highlight that Richmond Council  is aware of the problems at the station and wishes to contribute towards the refurbishment.  The financial involvement with SW Trains should mean that there is no excuse for work to be unduly delayed.”
He continued, “There are plans to move to ten carriage trains which will help reduce overcrowding and make use of the Eurostar platforms at Waterloo to increase service frequency.”

Cllr Gareth Elliott speaking with
Dr Tania Mathias, prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Twickenham said, “After so many years of  inaction I would like to see the station upgraded  in time for the Rugby World Cup.”

A further financial contribution might be possible from the Rugby Football Union  when they meet to discuss community projects at the end of April.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Construction begins on £1m Whitton Homelink Day Centre for people with dementia

Thanks to funding from the Council, Department of Health and Homelink, the Homelink Day Centre in Whitton is being totally rebuilt to provide a state-of the-art, dementia-friendly centre for people with dementia and their carers.

Homelink is a nurse-led centre for adults who have physical and mental health needs. Based in St Augustines Vicarage, Hospital Bridge Road, Twickenham, Homelink provides day respite care for local residents to give their carers a well deserved break. Homelink Day Respite Care Centre complements the existing dementia care at Woodville Centre in Ham which is already provided by the Council.

Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services, Cllr David Marlow, said:

“Richmond upon Thames will soon have one of the best care environments for people with dementia in the country. The Council greatly values the support the Homelink Day Centre has given to people with dementia over the years and they thoroughly deserve this investment. Supporting our most vulnerable residents is a priority for the Council and we will always do what we can to help organisations such as Homelink.”

Chief Operations Officer at Homelink Day Respite Centre, Sue Hodder, added:

“We are particularly looking forward to having additional space and rooms in which treatments and activities that both clients and their carers can utilise. The design will incorporate specialist lighting, colour schemes, equipment and acoustics that research has proven will enhance the wellbeing of all our clients and in particular those with dementia. The sensory garden will also provide an additional space for clients and their carers to enjoy and from which they will benefit.”

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Baroness Kramer – Whitton Station – Still No Response

It was very interesting and encouraging to see Baroness Kramer taking her role as Minister of State for Transport with special responsibility for stations seriously as she visited Waterloo Station. Announcing £300m of investment at Waterloo to transform the passenger experience will undoubtedly benefit many Whitton residents who regularly use Waterloo daily. It was also interesting to hear that there are also plans to bring Waterloo International Terminal back into full use, nearly seven years after the last Eurostar trains transferred to St Pancras.

The problem for Whitton is that we have yet to receive a response to our open letter to the Minster about any proposals for Whitton Station. This critical transport hub is vital to Whitton residents who rely on it to get to work and for general travel yet in its present form it is completely inaccessible to residents who are elderly, with young children or disabled. With the World Cup coming to Twickenham in 2015 and Twickenham Station being updated it is the perfect opportunity to look at Whitton Station and how it might be upgraded. We hope that Baroness Kramer will take our letter seriously and, as Minister with responsibility for stations, respond with concrete proposals to enhance the passenger experience at Whitton while opening it up to ALL Whitton residents.

To read the announcement regarding investment at Waterloo click here.

To read our open letter to Baroness Kramer regarding Whitton Station click here.