Passengers using 11 stations in East and West Sussex are enjoying the fruits of a £1.8 million improvement programme completed over the past 12 months by Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).
Eight small Sussex stations now have customer information screens for the first time, while Angmering has a package of accessibility and security improvements, and Worthing’s main entrance and frontage have enjoyed a make-over.
The train operator’s “Minor Works and Small Station Improvements” fund has been invested to provide better accessibility, customer information and experience, and environmental sustainability. At some stations, local authorities provided additional funding.
Much of the investment has been in technology. GTR has installed new customer information screens or public announcement systems at a dozen small rural stations in total, the majority of which are in East and West Sussex: Bishopstone, Doleham, Newhaven Harbour, Normans Bay, Pevensey Bay, Three Oaks, Warnham and Winchelsea.
The accessible entrance to Platform 1 at Angmering has been upgraded with additional lighting and renewed CCTV and communication systems, along with a re-graded entrance footpath. The station forecourt has also benefited from re-lining of the accessible parking bays, a widened entrance footpath with drop-kerbs, and canopies for the ticket vending machines.
At Worthing, the improvements team has redecorated the main station entrance in collaboration with West Sussex County Council’s major forecourt remodelling scheme.
Wayfinding improvements have been made at Falmer to point customers to the important destinations served by the station – the AMEX Stadium, universities and Stanmer Park.
Looking to the future, the team has carried out feasibility studies into new uses for disused station buildings, and into where provision of toilets can be increased.
Stephen MacCallaugh, Southern’s Head of Stations, said: “Most of these projects were suggested by local communities and station teams. They might be small schemes but they address local needs and make a big difference for many of our customers.
“We’re constantly working to make our train services and stations more attractive and accessible, to give our passengers a better all-round journey experience. And among our station teams, the improvements also foster pride in their workplace.”
Image credit: GTR