Train station footbridge closed over safety fears

The footbridge at Chalkwell Station

The footbridge at Chalkwell Station

First published in Local News by

A BUSY railway station footbridge has been closed over fears for public safety.

Train operator c2c has closed the footbridge between platforms at Chalkwell after engineers ruled corrosion had made it unsafe.

Trains were forced to slow to 5mph, causing delays, and passengers are advised to allow more time to travel as they have to access the London-bound platform via a separate public footbridge outside the station.

The 80-year-old bridge might have to be removed, presenting a major engineering challenge and a headache for commuters.

Network Rail, which is responsible for railway infrastructure, was monitoring the bridge due to concerns over the corrosion and engineers decided to close it immediately on Wednesday morning after an inspection.

Trains were forced to slow to 5mph on Wednesday, but were up to 40mph by Thursday.

Workmen had to lay new tarmac so passengers could get to the London-bound platform via an unused back gate, next to the cinder path.

Staff were on site directing passengers.

Network Rail said concerns over the condition of the bridge had been growing.

A spokeswoman said: “Network Rail had a concern regarding the condition of the bridge, and in particular the level of corrosion it was suffering.

“We knew the bridge would need work at some point and therefore we were monitoring its condition. However, an inspection on Tuesday night revealed the footbridge had deteriorated and we took the immediate decision to close it. Safety is our number one priority.

“The existing bridge closed early on Wednesday morning and work began immediately to provide an alternative route to access the platforms.

“Site investigations and structural analysis is being undertaken by specialist engineers.

“Network Rail is exploring long-term options for the bridge, either replacing it or repairing it. Short-term options are in discussion.

“We are working closely with c2c to decide the next steps. We realise the bridge is an important route for the travelling public and therefore we will try to keep disruption to a minimum and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

A c2c spokesman said: “The station remains open, with passengers able to access trains to London using the adjacent public footbridge.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers.”

Comments (13)

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2:11pm Mon 21 Jul 14

alileigh says...

This station has been refurbished within the last 12 months so how was this not picked up then? Additionally the refurbishment was pretty minimal and cost a fortune! There is no lift or access to the platform if you are using buggies, wheelchairs etc and actually the measures put in place to avoid the bridge in the station now make it far more accessible - something for C2C and Network Rail to consider, perhaps?
This station has been refurbished within the last 12 months so how was this not picked up then? Additionally the refurbishment was pretty minimal and cost a fortune! There is no lift or access to the platform if you are using buggies, wheelchairs etc and actually the measures put in place to avoid the bridge in the station now make it far more accessible - something for C2C and Network Rail to consider, perhaps? alileigh
  • Score: 12

2:15pm Mon 21 Jul 14

GrumpyofLeigh says...

I wonder what proportion of the discussions over options/ next steps is over who picks up the tab?
I wonder what proportion of the discussions over options/ next steps is over who picks up the tab? GrumpyofLeigh
  • Score: 3

3:10pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Russ13 says...

alileigh wrote:
This station has been refurbished within the last 12 months so how was this not picked up then? Additionally the refurbishment was pretty minimal and cost a fortune! There is no lift or access to the platform if you are using buggies, wheelchairs etc and actually the measures put in place to avoid the bridge in the station now make it far more accessible - something for C2C and Network Rail to consider, perhaps?
This report quite clearly states that the bridge has been monitored for a while now.

The worst time to carry out major works to the bridge would have been when the rest of the station was being refurbed.

The main point here is that a problem has been detected and action has been taken to ensure customer safety. There's no point in needlessly causing disruption and/or incurring unnecessary cost but obviously now is the time action needs to be taken.

The problem with corrosion is once it takes hold there's little/nothing that can be done especially with it's close proximity to salty water and replacement of corroded components is the only option. This won't only affect passengers trying to get to the London bound platform but it will also cause disruption all trains passing it too.
[quote][p][bold]alileigh[/bold] wrote: This station has been refurbished within the last 12 months so how was this not picked up then? Additionally the refurbishment was pretty minimal and cost a fortune! There is no lift or access to the platform if you are using buggies, wheelchairs etc and actually the measures put in place to avoid the bridge in the station now make it far more accessible - something for C2C and Network Rail to consider, perhaps?[/p][/quote]This report quite clearly states that the bridge has been monitored for a while now. The worst time to carry out major works to the bridge would have been when the rest of the station was being refurbed. The main point here is that a problem has been detected and action has been taken to ensure customer safety. There's no point in needlessly causing disruption and/or incurring unnecessary cost but obviously now is the time action needs to be taken. The problem with corrosion is once it takes hold there's little/nothing that can be done especially with it's close proximity to salty water and replacement of corroded components is the only option. This won't only affect passengers trying to get to the London bound platform but it will also cause disruption all trains passing it too. Russ13
  • Score: 8

5:13pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Devils Advocate says...

To me, not having seen the problem of course, this rather sounds like running close to the limit. With most NDT carried out on metal structures, alarms start sounding when the potential failure of safety limits is about six months in the future, or better! To suddenly shut this immediately after a routine inspection sounds like they didn't see it coming.
If they have the room, could they not build a stair/lift combination as they have at Laindon station, Using perhaps pre-stressed concrete sections that can be impervious to salt corrosion? (I am asking, by the way, and have no expertise in civil engineering!)
To me, not having seen the problem of course, this rather sounds like running close to the limit. With most NDT carried out on metal structures, alarms start sounding when the potential failure of safety limits is about six months in the future, or better! To suddenly shut this immediately after a routine inspection sounds like they didn't see it coming. If they have the room, could they not build a stair/lift combination as they have at Laindon station, Using perhaps pre-stressed concrete sections that can be impervious to salt corrosion? (I am asking, by the way, and have no expertise in civil engineering!) Devils Advocate
  • Score: 4

5:20pm Mon 21 Jul 14

SARFENDMAN says...

Guess 80 years in a hostile environment by the sea is good going and think builders would have been happy with that. Let's hope if a replacement is necessary it will be a sympathetic in design, but realistically not hopeful.
Guess 80 years in a hostile environment by the sea is good going and think builders would have been happy with that. Let's hope if a replacement is necessary it will be a sympathetic in design, but realistically not hopeful. SARFENDMAN
  • Score: 7

5:28pm Mon 21 Jul 14

VeteranOfMany says...

Needs scrapping, with passengers using the concrete bridge 8 metres away
Needs scrapping, with passengers using the concrete bridge 8 metres away VeteranOfMany
  • Score: 1

5:55pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Maddogg says...

Good job they spotted it now, before anyone got hurt. A bit of inconvenience far outweighs a serious injury, to any passengers, train staff or members of the public.
That would be unthinkable.
Good job they spotted it now, before anyone got hurt. A bit of inconvenience far outweighs a serious injury, to any passengers, train staff or members of the public. That would be unthinkable. Maddogg
  • Score: 6

6:51pm Mon 21 Jul 14

alarminstaller says...

I have commented before on here about the dangers of structures and buildings in Leigh on Sea and Westcliff.

Building are less likely to cause dangers to the public IF. They are maintained correctly by competent builders.

Unfortunately it is easy to see dangers by walking in many roads in Leigh especially in the shopping areas where loose structures, roofing slates, window frames are in such a bad condition that dangers are obvious.

Practically every property once designed for one family now has several doors, several water meters and several letter boxes.

Many of these now multi occ premises receive proper maintenance for various reasons, bad landlords or folk that do not have either the money or the enthusiasm to do anything.

I personally have seen slates falling in high winds narrowly missing folk.

One day we will see a collapse which will change minds and attitudes to our crumbling over crowded Victorian housing stock.
I have commented before on here about the dangers of structures and buildings in Leigh on Sea and Westcliff. Building are less likely to cause dangers to the public IF. They are maintained correctly by competent builders. Unfortunately it is easy to see dangers by walking in many roads in Leigh especially in the shopping areas where loose structures, roofing slates, window frames are in such a bad condition that dangers are obvious. Practically every property once designed for one family now has several doors, several water meters and several letter boxes. Many of these now multi occ premises receive proper maintenance for various reasons, bad landlords or folk that do not have either the money or the enthusiasm to do anything. I personally have seen slates falling in high winds narrowly missing folk. One day we will see a collapse which will change minds and attitudes to our crumbling over crowded Victorian housing stock. alarminstaller
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Bosniavet says...

So, the bridge was actually closed on Wednesday, but the Echo only publish thsi story on Monday 5 days after the event - nothing like a fast source of local news is there?
Anyway, as one of the poor so & so's who has to use the train to get to & from work, let's hope any works are carried out overnight & at weekends, thus causing us all minimal disruption.
So, the bridge was actually closed on Wednesday, but the Echo only publish thsi story on Monday 5 days after the event - nothing like a fast source of local news is there? Anyway, as one of the poor so & so's who has to use the train to get to & from work, let's hope any works are carried out overnight & at weekends, thus causing us all minimal disruption. Bosniavet
  • Score: 5

8:47am Tue 22 Jul 14

alileigh says...

Russ13 wrote:
alileigh wrote:
This station has been refurbished within the last 12 months so how was this not picked up then? Additionally the refurbishment was pretty minimal and cost a fortune! There is no lift or access to the platform if you are using buggies, wheelchairs etc and actually the measures put in place to avoid the bridge in the station now make it far more accessible - something for C2C and Network Rail to consider, perhaps?
This report quite clearly states that the bridge has been monitored for a while now.

The worst time to carry out major works to the bridge would have been when the rest of the station was being refurbed.

The main point here is that a problem has been detected and action has been taken to ensure customer safety. There's no point in needlessly causing disruption and/or incurring unnecessary cost but obviously now is the time action needs to be taken.

The problem with corrosion is once it takes hold there's little/nothing that can be done especially with it's close proximity to salty water and replacement of corroded components is the only option. This won't only affect passengers trying to get to the London bound platform but it will also cause disruption all trains passing it too.
My point was that this hasn't just happened in the last 12 months.
[quote][p][bold]Russ13[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]alileigh[/bold] wrote: This station has been refurbished within the last 12 months so how was this not picked up then? Additionally the refurbishment was pretty minimal and cost a fortune! There is no lift or access to the platform if you are using buggies, wheelchairs etc and actually the measures put in place to avoid the bridge in the station now make it far more accessible - something for C2C and Network Rail to consider, perhaps?[/p][/quote]This report quite clearly states that the bridge has been monitored for a while now. The worst time to carry out major works to the bridge would have been when the rest of the station was being refurbed. The main point here is that a problem has been detected and action has been taken to ensure customer safety. There's no point in needlessly causing disruption and/or incurring unnecessary cost but obviously now is the time action needs to be taken. The problem with corrosion is once it takes hold there's little/nothing that can be done especially with it's close proximity to salty water and replacement of corroded components is the only option. This won't only affect passengers trying to get to the London bound platform but it will also cause disruption all trains passing it too.[/p][/quote]My point was that this hasn't just happened in the last 12 months. alileigh
  • Score: 0

9:38am Tue 22 Jul 14

Leighdweller says...

I'm impressed with the way this is being handled so far. Plenty of people there in the morning guiding the way, the alleyway cleared and resurfaced very quickly.

Let's be honest having an extra 2 minutes added to my walk to the station in the morning isn't too much of an inconvenience.
I'm impressed with the way this is being handled so far. Plenty of people there in the morning guiding the way, the alleyway cleared and resurfaced very quickly. Let's be honest having an extra 2 minutes added to my walk to the station in the morning isn't too much of an inconvenience. Leighdweller
  • Score: 4

10:17am Tue 22 Jul 14

Kim Gandy says...

I love Pisssing People Off wrote:
Just walk across the track to get to the other side. Easier that way anyway!
ooooh ANOTHER pseudonym to add to I Hate the Police and all the others.

**** people off dear? Don't be too hasty to big yourself up that much. You are the resident nutter: the village idiot - only worthy of entertainment value for people like me and others here who are your intellectual superiors.

That said, even an amoeba is intellectually superior to you.

If I were you, I wouldn't big myself up as much as that. Apart from minimal entertainment value, you are a nonentity, a nobody, an irrelevance and have absolutely no significance or credibility at all. Nobody cares about you or your stupid comments.

You are just tolerated with some small level of sympathy because you are so obviously mentally deranged and live in your own little world of illusions in which you see yourself as important. You are not.

Actually you need sectioning so you can receive treatment for your delusions of grandeur and exaggerated sense of self worth.

Just thought somebody should tell you...
[quote][p][bold]I love Pisssing People Off[/bold] wrote: Just walk across the track to get to the other side. Easier that way anyway![/p][/quote]ooooh ANOTHER pseudonym to add to I Hate the Police and all the others. **** people off dear? Don't be too hasty to big yourself up that much. You are the resident nutter: the village idiot - only worthy of entertainment value for people like me and others here who are your intellectual superiors. That said, even an amoeba is intellectually superior to you. If I were you, I wouldn't big myself up as much as that. Apart from minimal entertainment value, you are a nonentity, a nobody, an irrelevance and have absolutely no significance or credibility at all. Nobody cares about you or your stupid comments. You are just tolerated with some small level of sympathy because you are so obviously mentally deranged and live in your own little world of illusions in which you see yourself as important. You are not. Actually you need sectioning so you can receive treatment for your delusions of grandeur and exaggerated sense of self worth. Just thought somebody should tell you... Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Tue 22 Jul 14

Ageing Commuter says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
I love Pisssing People Off wrote:
Just walk across the track to get to the other side. Easier that way anyway!
ooooh ANOTHER pseudonym to add to I Hate the Police and all the others.

**** people off dear? Don't be too hasty to big yourself up that much. You are the resident nutter: the village idiot - only worthy of entertainment value for people like me and others here who are your intellectual superiors.

That said, even an amoeba is intellectually superior to you.

If I were you, I wouldn't big myself up as much as that. Apart from minimal entertainment value, you are a nonentity, a nobody, an irrelevance and have absolutely no significance or credibility at all. Nobody cares about you or your stupid comments.

You are just tolerated with some small level of sympathy because you are so obviously mentally deranged and live in your own little world of illusions in which you see yourself as important. You are not.

Actually you need sectioning so you can receive treatment for your delusions of grandeur and exaggerated sense of self worth.

Just thought somebody should tell you...
I think you will find that actually "I love p*****g People off" has proven their point because you have fallen into the classic trap of responding to their comments...big time. You should just keep quiet and not give them the satisfaction of seeing they have really rattled your cage. Sometimes saying absolutely nothing is better than saying something.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]I love Pisssing People Off[/bold] wrote: Just walk across the track to get to the other side. Easier that way anyway![/p][/quote]ooooh ANOTHER pseudonym to add to I Hate the Police and all the others. **** people off dear? Don't be too hasty to big yourself up that much. You are the resident nutter: the village idiot - only worthy of entertainment value for people like me and others here who are your intellectual superiors. That said, even an amoeba is intellectually superior to you. If I were you, I wouldn't big myself up as much as that. Apart from minimal entertainment value, you are a nonentity, a nobody, an irrelevance and have absolutely no significance or credibility at all. Nobody cares about you or your stupid comments. You are just tolerated with some small level of sympathy because you are so obviously mentally deranged and live in your own little world of illusions in which you see yourself as important. You are not. Actually you need sectioning so you can receive treatment for your delusions of grandeur and exaggerated sense of self worth. Just thought somebody should tell you...[/p][/quote]I think you will find that actually "I love p*****g People off" has proven their point because you have fallen into the classic trap of responding to their comments...big time. You should just keep quiet and not give them the satisfaction of seeing they have really rattled your cage. Sometimes saying absolutely nothing is better than saying something. Ageing Commuter
  • Score: 5

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