Thursday, 7 October 2010

Waiting for Southeastern at Kidbrooke Station

I've just been down at Kidbrooke Station talking to the owner of the new(ish) coffee kiosk on platform one.

The kiosk is a great addition, which makes the station feel like a much friendlier place, but the Kite can reveal that it almost didn't come to Kidbrooke at all.

In fact the owner Niall only moved into the station in April after waiting a staggering four years to get permission from Southeastern.

The main sticking point was his wish to buy a kiosk from his own preferred supplier rather than the one preferred by the train operators.

This was a point he eventually won, but only after four years in which he had to start and re-start his application several times over as five separate management agents left the job.

He was eventually allowed onto the platform, but it does seem amazing that Southeastern would make life so difficult for somebody who they should have been giving the red carpet treatment to.

While we were talking a camera-wielding representative from Berkeley Homes, who are rebuilding the area, came over and asked if Niall could help them get in touch with the station manager.

It seems that communication with Southeastern, even for somebody rebuilding one of their stations, is not a simple task.

The man from Berekley Homes told me that before the new Kidbrooke Square is built, the station approach is going to undergo an interim "smartening up" with new retail outlets being put in.

The motivation it seems is to get a lick of paint on quickly before potential buyers are put off of moving into the area altogether:

It's a laudable aim, but something tells me it's going to take more than a lick of paint to persuade many to use the truly bleak area around the station once again:

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