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New information screens, more seating and a refurb – Crawley station joins over 250 stations being improved

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Comfort station: Southern's Customer Services Director Chris Fowler, Eridge Station Manager Donna Anderson and Area Manager Anita Scaife are ready to provide a better travel experience for returning rail customers

Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern customers returning to their stations as lock-down restrictions ease will be able to enjoy a host of new features designed to give them a better journey experience.

Over the past year, the train operators’ parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has installed around 1,500 square metres of new or refurbished waiting rooms and shelters, almost 3,000 seats, and over 100 new customer information screens.

The improvements are part of a network-wide, multimillion-pound programme involving more than 1,000 projects, many requested by local passenger and community groups, at 250 stations. Launched in September 2020, the programme is now over 90 per cent complete.

Illustrating the programme’s scale, Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said:

“To make your stations more comfortable there are now over 150 new or refurbished waiting rooms, canopies and platform shelters, nearly 3,000 new seats, and 90 re-furbished toilets. That’s more shelter than you’d get from 2,000 umbrellas and enough new seats to fill the Royal Festival Hall!”

Notable among the new and refurbished waiting rooms are Lingfield in Surrey and Eridge in East Sussex, both restored to railway heritage-style glory from previously derelict buildings. Eridge’s renovation attracted a £30,000 grant from the Railway Heritage Trust.

In West Sussex, Crawley station which has already had a big transformation will now also have new screens and seating whilst Burgess Hill’s new waiting room is a converted storage barn, originally built in 1841, that now displays award-winning landscape photography.

The once dull brick platform shelter at Penshurst in Kent has been transformed into a vibrant gallery for local artists. The restored 1867 Grade II Listed shelter at Ockley, Surrey is thought to be one of the UK’s oldest surviving examples of a timber platform shelter.

The new information screens will be welcomed by customers at 55 stations, from King’s Lynn in Norfolk to Arundel in West Sussex. [See editors’ notes below for full list, by county, of all stations with new screens.]

If stacked in a pile the new screens would reach almost 60 metres, taller than Nelson’s Column. Their total screen area is over 50 square metres.

The modern screens have the latest software and display technology for better clarity, graphical options and reliability. Importantly, they all meet the latest accessibility requirements.

Chris Fowler said:

“We are installing plenty of new screens where our customers told us they were most needed, as well as replacing some older screens with new ones. Putting additional screens towards the end of platforms encourages customers to spread out. This helps minimise crowding at busy times, which also speeds up boarding and improves punctuality. We’ve also installed more screens near station entrances because providing information before customers go through the gates can save them time and effort.”

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Jordan Bellamy from Crawley sought for recall to prison

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Police in West Sussex are searching for 28-year-old Jordan Bellamy from Crawley, as the Probation Service require his arrest and recall to prison for breaching his release licence conditions.

Bellamy, who is white, 5’10″, of stocky build with brown hair and brown eyeswas released from prison on licence earlier in September part way through a 30-month sentence for coercive and controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship.

Enquiries are being made in the Crawley and Brighton areas and anyone who sees Bellamy or knows of his whereabouts is asked not to approach him but to contact Sussex Police via 999 or 101, quoting serial 49 of 04/09.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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