The long wait for secure stations

Doncaster scored a minor victory last week when it was voted "Best Station in Britain" at the National Rail awards
Click to follow
The Independent Online

A new lounge, a better entrance hall and home-made scones apparently helped it to the top prize.

A new lounge, a better entrance hall and home-made scones apparently helped it to the top prize.

The improvements at Doncaster have, sadly,not been matched everywhere. Figures unearthed from the House of Commons library show that only 65 out of 2,500 stations have been judged "secure stations" under the government-backed scheme to improve safety.

Under the scheme, stations have to introduce good lighting, secure fencing and CCTV, and demonstrate sustained low crime rates.

According to the Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, Don Foster, it will take 84 years for all railway stations to be accredited at the current rate of progress.

A woman judge was raped last month in a railway station lavatory at Sheerness in Kent during the morning rush hour. The victim, who had just arrived from London, asked for the key to the lavatory, which was normally kept locked to deter drug users.

Passenger Power has highlighted the appalling state of many stations, particularly those without full-time staff. The neglect is a major obstacle to making the railways more popular. We revealed last month that some smaller stations could even lose the right to sell a full range of tickets.

Stewart Francis, the chairman of the Rail Passengers Council, said that stations continue to be the forgotten part of the rail network. He is pushing for a reduction in the number of unmanned stations.

Comments