Passengers quizzed on subway scheme

Chairman Gerard Rosenberg hands a survey card to London-bound passenger Rita Stanton

Chairman Gerard Rosenberg hands a survey card to London-bound passenger Rita Stanton

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RAIL passengers have been asked for their views on opening up the subway at Shoreham railway station.

The Shoreham Society is continuing its campaign to make the subway accessible from the street again, to save people waiting at the often-closed level crossing.

Volunteers handed out survey cards on various mornings recently to assess views on an option suggested by Southern.

The rail company’s idea is to open up a new access through a disused storeroom on the southern side and alter the way out, or on to the platform, on the northern side.

Adrian Towler, the society’s Journal editor, said: “So far, we have not tallied the result but a lot of the passengers have been very supportive and think it is a good idea to let pedestrians use it. Some remember it being open to the street years ago.”

London-bound passenger Rita Stanton, who spoke with society chairman Gerard Rosenberg, said: “I can remember when you could use it from the level crossing. It was much better in those days.”

Southern is keen to ensure that re-opening the subway to public use will not upset rail travellers and commissioned the survey as a result.

Cards were given out during morning commutes plus a few on a Saturday morning.

The Southern plan, estimated to cost £55,000, would mean a slightly longer walk for some rail passengers.

At night, when the ticket gates are not in use, the station would be largely as it is now, with everyone able to use the subway.

By day, rail passengers would need to access the subway from the ramp at the northern side (platform one), or from the new access on the other side.

The survey card says: “This could save lengthy waits at the level crossing.

“Perhaps you are a rail passenger sometimes, and a pedestrian at other times, so you will see both sides of the situation.”

Mr Towler admitted the scheme was ‘a bit of a compromise’. He wanted the subway to the street, which would need support from Network Rail.

“Southern are being helpful, and we appreciate that, but they can only do alterations to the station, it seems,” he said, adding that Network Rail had been ‘very evasive’.