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
 residents
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.