Getting ECRA access to Coulsdon South station
18/06/2018 19:30:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura
Over the weekend I was alerted to what sounded like a very strange decision to stop residents volunteering in their local community.
For many years, the diligent volunteers of the East Coulsdon Residents' Association and Farthing Downs have helped to maintain the plant beds around Coulsdon South station. They do this simply for the pleasure of keeping our local community pristine, and I thank them for that.
Recently they were told by station management that their permission to carry out this harmless activity was to be halted.
Understandable upset, on their behalf I contacted GTR who manage the station to ask what the reason for the seemingly heavy-handed ban was.
A few days later I received a welcome reply:
'I look after the station partnerships across our network.
Earlier in the year, we had one of the groups which volunteer at our stations dig in an area where they did not have permission. As a result we did ask groups to stop work while we undertook a review of what had happened and why.
As a result of this we updated our processes and asked each group to apply for a Site Access Permit. We have provided this to the group at Coulsdon South and they are currently awaiting processing of the permit by our Property Team.
We are sorry that this is taking longer than any of us would like and we hope to have the gardeners back at the station soon.'
So it all seems to be a misunderstanding - ECRA are filling in the required forms to enable the station to meet its legal obligations, and the station will allow them to continue their much valued community work safe in the knowledge that they are keeping themselves safe on site. Worth noting that it wasn't ECRA, but another group at another station who triggered this requirement from GTR.
If you would like to join ECRA and help support the community, visit their website: http://www.eastcoulsdon.co.uk