Richmond Council has announced that the Boris and his amazing, dancing Greater London Authority will chip in £1.6m towards improvements at Twickenham station. Yay! Free money! What we all gonna spend it on then? Booze?? Too bad, it’s already allocated. It’s going to be used towards replacing the bridge between the platforms and on various other bits of platform level improvements, such as extending the canopies. These improvements form part of the Section 106 arrangements that El Brute agreed with the developer. LBRuT has indicated that some of the dosh could also be used to revamp the footbridge that crosses from Mary’s Terrace to Cole Park Road. Hooray (again).
Or is it hooray? We all love a bit of ‘free’ money coming our way, right? But one question stands out like a sore thumb… that’s then been hit with a hammer… then slammed in a door. Namely, why do we need grants for this from the GLA when Solum Regeneration recently had their big station development plans approved? One might have expected the joint venture between Network Rail (who ought to know a bit about stations) and Kier Property (who ought to know a bit about buildings) to have cooked up plans for “regeneration” (their word) that improved the “platform experience” as one of its very first principles. It’s a teeny bit disappointing that the GLA (i.e. taxpayers) had to contribute funds to make such basic improvements as part of the large commercial development of the station site. But hey, what do we know? Sure, yes we’d absolutely rather have this money than not and, as it’s coming from other people, who cares, right?