Are you a regular Overground user? If so, then this guest post by Ed Fordham is for you. Ed sits on the London Overground Passenger Board – the user group that discusses issues relating to the Overground network and in particular the North London Line:
“Being a frequent user of one part of the line, I tend to confine myself to taking a close interest in the stations between Willesden Junction and Gospel Oak. There are other user groups for the other bits (Barking-Gospel Oak, West London etc), but the six rail stations between Willesden Junction and Gospel Oak can be a bit left out. So I thought I would report back on what had occurred at the last meeting on 15th June – which felt exceptionally positive.
Overall the Overground network achieved 95% punctuality over the past 12 months, making it one of the most punctual services in the UK. This is based on arrival time at the end destination, rather than at intermediate stations – and given some of the routes are so long and have so many stations, there are variations. The North London Line section of the network was only 92%, and steps are being taken to try and tighten up on that.
It is expected that this service – going through residential areas will be heavily used during the Olympics, so there will be 70 additional staff and some additional services for parts of the line. An Olympic and Paralympic timetable will be out in the next week or so.
Phase 3 refurbishments
As you may have seen over the last 18 months, there havebeen a host of small scale station improvements ranging from new signs and a general paint job to the more comprehensive redecoration at Hampstead Heath station (this was part of the Art on the Overground project).
There is now a chance to have a more substantive conversation about issues and improvements in the medium and longer term and it would be good to hear your ideas and suggestions.
Issues that have been mentioned include:
- Better recycling facilities generally, especially for free early morning papers (on trains as well as platforms?)
- Additional shelters or canopies at Brondesbury station
- A lift at Hampstead Heath station – especially given access to the hospital
- Taking down the excessive anti-vandalism measures at Finchley Road and Frognal
- A cashpoint to be installed at Brondesbury Park station
Getting the community involved
One specific initiative has been to get the community working with London Overground to introduce flower boxes and flower beds at other stations and it strikes me that this would be very possible at Kensal Rise, West Hampstead and Hampstead Heath stations in particular. If any local residents, amenity groups or traders would like to get involved with this please do get in touch and I can help facilitate the conversation asap. Homerton Station has been very successful at this.”
Thanks Ed! Ed sends out an e-mail update every 2–3 months or so on these issues, so any local residents, users or traders on or near the Overground Line should contact him on email@example.com. He tends to concentrate on the six stations between Kensal Rise and Hampstead Heath.