'It is a scandal how long the delays have been' - work at railway station still not finished a year later

Construction work on the lifts and stairs at the Elstree and Borehamwood station is still ongoing

Network Rail had originally planned to start building new lifts in September 2012 but problems with where to place the crane delayed the start date until March 2013.

First published in News
Last updated
Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Work to make a station more accessible is still yet to be completed.

Construction work on the lifts and stairs at the Elstree and Borehamwood station is still ongoing despite First Capital Connect stating that the works would finally be completed by the end of August.

The work, which is being carried out as a part of a national £370 million upgrade to improve accessibility, is now listed as ‘completed July 2014’ on the Network Rail website despite the work still not having been finalised.

Borehamwood resident Johnny Messias, who has been tirelessly trying to get answers from both Network Rail and FCC via Twitter, says the delays are a ‘scandal’ and that he was highly sceptical of the work being competed by this month.

He added: “I know personally as we had to carry our 15 month old again this weekend. I know the staff on the actual station are really frustrated with it, as are us passengers.”

Mr Messias spoke to station staff last weekend, who said that they had been told that the work first needed to be signed off by both companies along with the council.

However building control at Hertsmere Borough Council has taken a look into the case and says that neither the borough council nor Hertfordshire County Council is responsible.

Staff also told Mr Messias that disabled passengers had been turned away from the station on a number of occasions, after having been invited to the station to use the new facilities over the phone.

The work on the lifts began after Erica Marks and her husband, David, of Beech Drive, Borehamwood, were told their son Benjamin’s wheelchair posed “health and safety issues” and was banned from using the station.

After a sustained twitter campaign, the go-ahead for the lifts was given in August 2012 but Mrs Marks is not impressed at the excssive delays.

She said: "It beggars belief that so many "additional" problems have been noticed at such a late stage, to delay this vital project. This is not the first lift to be built at a station, so it shows that operations management in this case has been dreadfully poor and passengers like my son, still cannot use the station to return to Borehamwood, which frankly is a scandal.

"My son has such profound disabilities, we just wanted him to be able to use public transport from his home town, like the rest of us do."

It is still unknown as to when the work will be completed, after multiple complications have delayed all stages of the construction process.

Network Rail had originally planned to start building new lifts in September 2012 but problems with where to place the crane delayed the start date until March 2013.

The lifts were originally scheduled for completion for June 2013, but after issues with the crane this was put back to the ‘end of 2013’.

A spokesman from First Capital Connect said: "We have been working closely with Network Rail who are delivering this project and have assured us that it will be completed by the end of our franchise which ends on 14 September.

"The safety and well being of our passengers is paramount which is why we are yet to open the bridge and lifts. Network Rail are improving the emergency lighting which so that it meets the required safety standards.

"We thank our passengers for their patience throughout this project and we are looking forward to opening it very soon."

A Network Rail spokesperson added: "We have had to do some additional safety work to the bridge and lifts design before they can come into use. We understand this is frustrating but delivering the project safely is the most important thing and we thank passengers and station users for their continued patience throughout this project, which ultimately will make the station more accessible for everyone in Elstree and Borehamwood.” 

Comments (3)

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3:14pm Fri 29 Aug 14

ANt Gee says...

reading the related article, this was originally planned to be finished June 2013, then was delayed to Decemebr 2013...now even if it is signed off this week it will be 14 months late. These lifts are crucial for anyone who has difficulty using steps whether through disability, age or the need to use buggies. How many hundreds of people have been inconvenienced by this delay?
reading the related article, this was originally planned to be finished June 2013, then was delayed to Decemebr 2013...now even if it is signed off this week it will be 14 months late. These lifts are crucial for anyone who has difficulty using steps whether through disability, age or the need to use buggies. How many hundreds of people have been inconvenienced by this delay? ANt Gee
  • Score: 5

5:36pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Bosci de Boreham says...

You forgot to mention the fat and lazy.
You forgot to mention the fat and lazy. Bosci de Boreham
  • Score: -3

8:25pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Trevor Globe says...

This is incompetent, surely Hertsmere safety officers can take control of this situation and at least get the footbridge open to relieve the pressure at the evening rush hour. We have been walking past a completed bridge for two months now, and it has become a joke, instead of being a valuable addition to the station.
This is incompetent, surely Hertsmere safety officers can take control of this situation and at least get the footbridge open to relieve the pressure at the evening rush hour. We have been walking past a completed bridge for two months now, and it has become a joke, instead of being a valuable addition to the station. Trevor Globe
  • Score: 4

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