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Splashing the cash pays off

By Lotte Pegler


Toilet improvements are just one of the new upgrades being embraced by passengers at Barnham Railway Station.


These changes came after members of the public had their say on how Barnham, Chichester and Emsworth railway stations should be upgraded and where money should be spent.


West Sussex Rail Users Association and fellow passengers put forward their ideas for Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Passenger Benefit Fund. The results showed a major call for upgrades to toilets and seating on the platform.


At Barnham, three new wooden benches have been installed on the London-bound platform, as well as general improvements having been made to the toilets.


Trevor Tupper, of the West Sussex Rail Users Association, said: “We’re very pleased with the work so far. The new wooden seats are far more comfortable than the old metal ones.


“We asked for all the metal seats to be taken away. We hope that will happen to those on Bognor Regis’ platforms.


Mr Tupper said he was due to attend a meeting of GTR’s community rail partnership next week at which he hoped to hear about future work being planned with the benefit fund.


Keith Jipps, infrastructure director at GTR, said: “The new seating, toilet improvements and subway upgrade make a real difference to the station environment.


“It is also pleasing to know how well-received the new benches have been and we look forward to making further improvements across our network.”


Down the line, Chichester and Emsworth stations also had their own make-overs. Chichester rail users are also able to rest their legs following the installation of eight new wooden benches on platforms.


At Emsworth, the subway has been brightened up with freshly painted walls and the stairs have also had a much-needed upgrade.


The Govia Thameslink Railway’s Passenger Benefit Fund was set up by the Secretary of State for Transport who announced that GTF would contribute £15m towards a passenger benefit fund which would be used to provide tangible benefits for passengers.


Passengers, passenger groups and other stakeholders could submit ideas about how to spend their allocation at a local station level or at a wider passenger benefit scheme level.
other improvement work had taken place at Barnham and Ford, said Mr Tupper.


“The wooden canopy at Barnham has also been painted. I think the last time that was done was in the 60s.


“It can only be carried out when they have the line to themselves and they have made a good job of it,” he said.


“The booking hall at Ford, which looked awful, has also been repainted.”

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