From: Jeff Wall
Michel Dene Road
Once again it is lead balloon time for Southern at Eastbourne.
Not content with indefensibly axing one of the only three daily direct weekday trains to London Bridge from next month – and the only one departing at a remotely civilised time at that (the 07.12), further inconvenience for many customers is currently being dressed up as yet more “passenger improvements”. This is the work now belatedly underway and originally due to have been finished by February, as displayed on posters at the station. Of these, the closure of the north western so-called “stepped side entrance” is quite disingenuous.
Not only are these steps complemented by an adjacent ramp, nullifying the emphasis and self-serving negative connotation it allows Southern to place on the access being “stepped”, but this access point far from being a “side” entrance, is more accurately described as the only “direct” entrance for car park users and pedestrians approaching across the carpark.
Its loss will in future necessitate a circuitous detour to the south west for anyone having a season ticket or other advance purchase ticket, resulting in a needless extra 70-metre or more roundabout travel to the barriers for all. Incongruously too, if you have prepaid, have a mobility impairment and are using one of the blue badge parking bays adjacent to the ramped and stepped side entrance now already closed off, you will also have an unnecessary elongated diversion, made worse by having to circumvent the barrier posed by the elevated cycle racks.
All quite incredulous and not thought through. My experience is that commuters and other passengers are not as bad as Southern trains in getting to the station on time, but on those occasions when ticketholders are coming from the carpark and may be cutting things a little fine, this unnecessary loop may well now make the difference between catching an intended train and missing it.
Moving the toilets to a new location “behind the ticket gates” , which is another so called “improvement”, may well enable their better control and management, but in that position they will be no convenience, quite literally, for the general public who are not travelling, but who may well be using the various outlets that fringe the concourse.
Astonishingly too, especially for a listed building, the greatest difficulty for the station in recent years, has undoubtedly been its noticeably leaky concourse roof and this does not even get a mention in the description of ongoing improvements.