09:00AM, Friday 09 February 2018
Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail have been accused of 'not caring' about Cookham Station’s waiting room, which has been shut for seven months.
The main building was closed in the summer due to dry rot. But while a temporary ticket office has been set up for staff, no temporary waiting room has been provided.
No work has been done on repairing the building and the only shelter available for passengers is the size of a bus stop.
Dick Scarff, chairman of The Cookham Society environment sub-committee, said: “It just seems they don’t care.
“They are happy to put the prices up, but not to put a shelter up.”
Train stations that use services from a single operator, like Cookham Station, are run by the operator, but changes must be approved by Network Rail.
GWR leases the station, but the operator said Network Rail is responsible for repair works.
In an email exchange seen by the Advertiser, Tom Pierpoint, GWR regional development manager, said the operator has not received a report on the damage to the building from Network Rail, despite it being closed in June.
Mr Scarff described the old waiting room as warm and cheerful and a credit to GWR, but now passengers must wait for their train outside with little cover.
The issue has been raised with Network Rail and GWR by both The Cookham Society and Cookham Parish Council, but progress is yet to be made.
Andrew Nye, Cookham Parish Council leader, said: “A number of councillors have raised it with Great Western Railway.
“What they are not doing is giving us a commitment to when it is going to be re-opened. We have chased them a number of times about that.”
A GWR spokesman said it has been in regular contact with the Cookham Society, and added: “A temporary ticket office has been open for use at the station since early December.
“We have also been asked to see if we can provide a temporary waiting shelter, while Network Rail undertakes essential repair works.”
Network Rail has been contacted for comment.
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