Remember the days before Deptford station was rebuilt? We do. This is what it looked like:
We posted more pictures showing what the station used to look like in April 2011, just as work commenced on building the new one. Unfortunately, since the new station opened in April 2012 (see the Deptford Dame post), a cleaning contract has not been in place, so that nearly a year later, the station is beginning to resemble the old one.
A group of locals who regularly use the station have been complaining for some time now. Their complaints fell on deaf ears for many months since it wasn't clear whose responsibility it was to maintain and clean the station (Network Rail or South Eastern Railway?), and they were given the usual run around by both companies.
Now they know that South Eastern Railway should be doing the job, and have been promised not only "an increase in staffing" (someone with a broom and mop at least twice a day), but a thorough three-day deep clean that is programmed to start on March 18th and take place on a regular basis thereafter.*
Since the so-called increase in staffing (a cleaner pops down from Greenwich station) the manager from South Eastern reports a "significant improvement", but those using the station contend that cleaning is still not being carried out to a satisfactory standard. The station's architects originally specified that the station should be cleaned for 30+ hours a week, but the new cleaning regime is only 3 hours a day, plus some time at the weekend. Cleaning doesn't appear to be taking place on Sunday, so Monday's commuters must start the week walking through Saturday night's detritus.
One of them commented, "The new station is an unusual building and one which requires a high level of maintenance to avoid it looking uncared for. Once a public building begins to look shabby, people begin to mistreat it...There are many surfaces and areas that are difficult to access without specialist platforms/scaffolding, and large expanses of glass which, unless cleaned regularly, really show the dirt, and stainless steel which needs cleaning to prevent rust..."
Cleaning is one thing – repairs and maintenance another. Lighting not working in the arch passageway has been reported, along with shattered glass, pigeon lofts, nowhere to put rubbish and fag butts, the lift not working, and other wear and tear...
In the meantime, if you want to help get the message across to South Eastern, you can upload your comments along with a photo of the filth and mess to South Eastern's comments page.
Update Thursday 21 March:
Surprise, surprise! No deep cleaning took place on Monday 18th March! An enquiry to South Eastern produced no reason, but a promise that it will take place on Monday and Tuesday 25th & 26th March. The South Eastern Railway rep blamed the behaviour of 'the public' for the neglect that has resulted in the current state of the station.
In February, the South London Press also carried the story (unfortunately not available online), which may have led to local's complaints being temporarily dealt with – but so far, the bad publicity has produced very little result.
Update Friday 22 March: We hear Dame Joan Ruddock is scheduled to open the station proper next week (according to some bloke working at the station) so South Eastern will really have to do a clean up after all. Also see what our other Dame has to say in her latest post.