Failing railways: Filth and squalor by the sea
Saturday 24 October 1998
Bournemouth, another historic railway building in a poor state of repair, was a close contender for the title. The station was nominated by Gordon Roe, former bishop of Huntingdon, in Cambridgeshire. "Scaffolding has been up for ever and fences off most of the few seats there are on the platform. When it rains the roof leaks everywhere and there is nowhere to hide. The loos are beyond belief, filthy, most of the cubicles boarded up, no adequate wash facilities and a pervading, repulsive smell," he wrote.
Railtrack said it was aware that Bournemouth, which has been under repair since the 1987 storms, was probably the worst station in the South-east.
A spokesman said the company had agreed a pounds 6.7m package to restore the listed building by spring 2000.
"This will reinstate the roof and really return the station to its former glory." A common thread running through the nominations was the feeling of fear and disgust that travellers felt while waiting for trains.
St James Street in Walthamstow, east London, on the WAGN line to Chingford, was described as "crumbling, dirty, smelly, graffiti-covered and totally uninviting" by one reader who said that, for lone passengers, particularly at night, the perception is of a dangerous, insecure place.
Another described it simply as "disgusting".
WAGN's station at Hackney Downs, east London, boasted graffiti and a smell of urine, while platform indicators have not worked for six months, according to one reader, who found that complaints to staff were often met with rudeness.
"Hackney Downs, like the school of the same name closed by the Government, is obviously a sink station," he wrote.
Birkbeck, which is on the line to Beckenham Junction in south London was "smelly and overgrown", boasting a vandalised ticket office and a loudspeaker system that did not work.
The Independent staff's nomination, Kentish Town West, in north London, was supported by a reader who said that he had not paid a fare there for six years, as it had been impossible to buy one, from staff or a machine, while the "nauseating stench" kept the gangs of local children away.
On The Wrong Track
Bad stations nominated by Independent readers include:
Bexhill, East Sussex
Birmingham New Street, West Midlands
Cambridge Heath, London
Hackney Downs, London
Kentish Town West, London
London Fields, London
Nuneaton, West Midlands
Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Rowland Castle, Hampshire
St James Street, London
South Croydon, south London
Stratford, east London
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Any terrorist seizure of the plane ‘would have required one hell of a piece of planning’
Croatia's second city to close 'worst zoo in the world' after reports of 'nightmare' conditions and 'depressed' animals
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Hijackers, pirates or suicide – the theories surrounding the mystery
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
- 3 Pakistani gang rape victim Amina Bibi dies after setting herself on fire
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...