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Neighbours’ anger over station platform extension
Bright lights, loud public speaker announcements and commuters looking over back gardens. This is the scenario residents fear after plans to extend the platform at Kingston station were approved this week.
The proposals by Network Rail will see the northbound platform towards London lengthened by 44.5m, over Richmond Road railway bridge and behind several houses in Canbury Park Road.
The extension will allow trains of up to 12 carriages to stop at Kingston, massively increasing the number of passengers each year.
But Canbury Park Road resident Warren Samuels said: “It is going to be 15ft from our back bedroom window, where our little boy sleeps.
“They are going to have lighting 24 hours a day and a speaker system, which apparently they have to have because of health and safety – never mind the health and safety of residents.
“But the way it has been dealt with has annoyed me more than anything.”
Mr Samuels said he felt the company had not properly looked into extending the other end of the platform towards Hampton instead.
He said: “With a company this size you expect these sort of things to go through, but we have been kept in the dark and not given the right information.”
A spokeswoman for South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said the extension was part of a wider scheme to introduce extra carriages to the network.
She said: “All options for Kingston were evaluated, but there are a number of issues with carrying out the extension on the other side of the platform.
“This would have involved land purchase and the track being redesigned and resignalled. Extending the other side would have also made it difficult in the future to extend platform one.
“After weighing up these factors, it was decided the best way forward was to extend the platform on the east side, providing much-needed future capacity for longer trains into Waterloo.”
Even Councillor David Cunningham, who sat on the development control committee that approved the application, was apologetic to residents affected by the decision.
He said: “The committee did everything it reasonably could to mitigate the noise and lighting.
"We know residents won’t be happy, but unfortunately as a committee you have to take these decisions on balance."
According to the latest publicly available statistics Kingston station saw five million passengers in the 2010/11 financial year.