Purley gates(and fence)

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55003

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I had to change trains at Purley yesterday and I was intrigued as to why there is a metal fence down the middle of platforms 2 and 3 which is an island platform. The only gate between the two is at the London end a long way from the stairs and lift which is a real annoyance when you are dragging a suitcase.What is the purpose of this fence?
 
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MidnightFlyer

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To stop people accessing the platform to jump under trains at a guess. Similar exists at Purley Oaks and Harrow & Wealdstone.
 

ert47

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I havent really travelled down to Purley for a while, but isnt the lines through platforms 1 and 2 generally for fast non-stopping services?
 

ushawk

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I havent really travelled down to Purley for a while, but isnt the lines through platforms 1 and 2 generally for fast non-stopping services?
Yes, thats why the gate is there so the public cant access the platform, preventing possible incidents.
 

tsr

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Yes, thats why the gate is there so the public cant access the platform, preventing possible incidents.
You are indeed correct. However, incidents do occur on (or, shall we say, in the vicinity of) similar fenced platforms, for two reasons: firstly, the fences are not that high, and, secondly, any time trains do call at those platforms, people have been known to be involved in PHBT incidents with them - possibly in the mistaken belief that the trains involved will be going quite fast.
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I havent really travelled down to Purley for a while, but isnt the lines through platforms 1 and 2 generally for fast non-stopping services?
Generally speaking, you are correct, especially with regards to the Gatwick Express.
 

Shimbleshanks

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I sit on the East Surrey Transport Committee and this wretched fence comes up at almost every meeting.

As you surmise, its purpose is to discourage suicides on a stretch of line that has been a suicide hotspot and to some extent it seems to have succeeded or at least moved the problem elsewhere.

However, the Health & Safety people have decreed that, because space on platform 2 is limited, the only gates in the fence must be at the far ends of the platforms - to the great annoyance of passengers who find themselves with a long trek to the end of the platform. There have been cases of people missing their trains because they didn't factor in a 200-metre dash to the end of the platform. It can also cause chaos on Sunday, with passengers milling about looking for an exit.

The Elf & Safety lot (actually, Network Rail's safety people I presume) say having gates only at the ends is necessary to allow a complete trainload of passengers to disperse. As platform 2 is the down fast at Purley and most trains that stop at Purley use the slow lines except a handful in the early mornings and during weekend engineering works, you might think this would not be an issue but, say Network Rail, 'What if you had to evacuate a complete train-load on platform 2 in an emergency? You would need to make passengers disperse along the length of the platform rather than crowd around a central gate.'

True enough, we say on the Committee, but as Purley is a permanently staffed station, if such an event were to occur couldn't a member of the staff lock the middle gate? This has been rejected, as has another suggestion, that given the low numbers using the trains when Platform 2 is in use, a direct route from could be provided by unlocking the waiting room doors that front onto that platform, providing a short-cut from platform 3 to 2. (This might not work on Sundays when the trains are quite busy.)

Members of the committee continue to press the issue, though don't hold your breath...
 

55003

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It wasn't that cold on Sunday evening and I waited on the platform for twenty minutes for my train to Tonbridge ,but if it had been I would have used the waiting room.
It would have made sense for the waiting room doors that exit onto platform 2 to have been unlocked to save a long walk to the London end gate and then back to the country end to board my train, especially for those of us who boarded at Gatwick and had a lot of luggage.
 

ushawk

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If trains were scheduled to stop on Purley P2, then i would have thought there would of been platform staff there saying where the exits are too
 
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