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Author Topic: Up Platform at St James Park, Exeter to be Extended  (Read 5160 times)
Transport Scholar
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« on: January 21, 2019, 08:57:34 pm »

[apologies for the click bait]
From DevonLive

St James Park station is FINALLY going to be extended
Match Day woes are over, as Exeter City and Exeter Chiefs fans will both be served

Platform two of St James Park railway station is set to finally to be extended.

The platform is approximately 37 metres long, which means it can be served by only one or two coach trains. Other train formations, such as a Class 158, must use selective door opening or single door opening at the front carriage for passengers to embark or disembark the train.

The short, Exmouth-bound platform, causes issues on matchdays, as trains no longer stop at the St James Park halt when an Exeter City game clashes with an Exeter Chiefs fixture.

St James Park train station has been serving football fans for many years

But councillors on the Devon and Exeter Rail Project Working Party on Friday afternoon were told that the Department for Transport had agreed and signed off on the extension to the platform.

Network Rail will be funding the work as part of the Devon Metro strategy, but Lewis Ward, Assistant Regional Development Manager for Great Western Railway, could only tell councillors that a date for construction work would be announced by Network Rail this year.

Mr Ward said: “St James Park station is a charming station but it has small platforms and it doesn’t match the user requirements. We have been making the case with Network Rail for a long time for this and we expecting to hear a construction date announced this year for the platform extension.

“The massive pressures have meant we have to suspend services at St James Park when the Chiefs and City play on the same day, but the platform extension means we will be able to revise this in the future.”

He added that passengers having to exit from a single door does have safety implications and is a performance issue for GWR as it is a single track of line.

St James Park Station (Image: Derek Harper)

Cllr Sue Aves, the ward councillor for St Sidwells & St James, told the committee that St James Park was a heavily used station with around 87,000 people using it each year, and it was great news that the work had been agreed.

She said: “This short platform affects trains all the way to London Waterloo and I am concerned about the safety aspects of single door opening if people had to get off in a hurry. This should also help on matchdays as it should stop people parking on the roads where residents live nearby, cut congestion heading into the city, and make it easier to get to the game.”

She added that she wanted to thank Exeter City fan Roger Hamilton-Kendall who had called on his fellow supporters to back a petition calling for platform two of St James Park railway station to be extended.

He had launched a petition calling for platform 2 to be extended, saying: “The volume of passengers at this popular halt has resulted in train services being suspended on certain days where the football and rugby club's respective fixtures clash. Supporters of both these clubs are now asked to board at Exeter Central to venture to their Sandy Park ground (Digby Station) and to alight at this same station and walk over a mile to the St James Park football stadium, or to their homes in the area.

St James Park station is often maintained by volunteers

“This has a negative impact on the local area and Exeter. This is a public transport service that is not providing a service. A station just yards away from a stadium that you are denied to travel too all because too many people want to use it! With sometimes one door for exit and entry for 100s of commuters it is now deemed a safety issue as well as time delaying on the rail network.

“If the platform 2 was extended then all doors of a two or four unit train could be utilised and the issue would be resolved for the good of everyone.”

Mike Reddaway, chairman of the Avocet Line Rail Users Group, after the meeting said it was great news that the platform extension will go ahead. He said: “We have worked towards this for many years. It will be an improvement for passengers and for their safety, but will also improve the punctuality of trains along the line. This is big news for the station and good it is going to go ahead.”

No date for when the work will take place has yet been announced.
Transport Scholar
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 09:31:40 pm »

So once again, Exeter and the South Devon Metro lobby show others just how it should be done. Transwilts being the other exemplar, of course.
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