Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lonely Stations

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lonely Stations

Article excerpt

STEPPING from the train on to dark, unmanned platforms, many of us wonder what on earth the rail companies do with our money. Yet train operators have responded to this newspaper's campaign for better security at unmanned stations like Kensal Green, close to the scene of Tom ap Rhys Pryce's murder, by trying to claim they cannot afford to protect their passengers.

Now a group of MPs with an eye on the vast subsidies received by the rail industry is set to complain about the lack of staff at hundreds of stations around the country. The Public Accounts Committee also criticises the shamefully dilapidated state of many platforms and ticket halls. The layout of stations often forces passengers to exit by one route only, making it easy for muggers or opportunistic criminals. It is widely accepted that neglected settings breed antisocial behaviour, as offenders get the message that no one cares. Thus, as Tooting's MP Sadiq Khan suggests, relatively inexpensive measures such as cleaning up graffiti and litter would have benefits beyond aesthetic ones. …

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