Train station a cause for concern

2019-07-09 06:00
Graffiti stains the walls of the Glencairn train station.

Graffiti stains the walls of the Glencairn train station.

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Affectionately known as the sheriff of Glencairn; resident, Pamela Gush has expressed her frustration over the state of the Glencairn train station which she alleges attracts vagrants, vandals and criminal activities.

Gush told People’s Post she hopes to see more people coming into Glencairn via the train station and not simply passing through to get to Simon’s Town or Fish Hoek. However, the state of the train and the station facilities make it difficult for visitors to comfortably exit there. The station has also been closed for ticketing so only a few people get on at the station because they can only buy tickets at one of the neighbouring stations.

Gush suggested a revamp of the station to turn it back into a hub.

Riana Scott, marketing and communication manager for Metrorail Western Cape responded, stating the main issues. “Metrorail’s operational resources are apportioned according to ticket sales and patronage. Glencairn Station does not support this strategy at the moment. Ticket sales and patronage are reviewed regularly and should the situation change, deployment of resources will be reconsidered,”

She added that it is on the list of facilities to receive attention from Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

In addition to Gush’s concern regarding the graffiti on the station walls, the poor condition of the seats inside the train and the overall unkempt appearance, she said the area just outside the station is strewn with litter and attracts vagrants who live where people don’t usually see them.

“I was absolutely shocked to see that people were living here in the long grass – they even had mattresses,” said Gush. She added that the general feel of the station is not safe, resulting in visitors not coming to Glencairn.

Scott explained: “Available resources permit vegetation control and clearing of rail reserves twice per annum under favourable weather conditions. Due to finite financial resources, these contracts cannot include ‘touch ups’ in between clearing cycles.” She added that vacant PRASA property has been documented and efforts are made to either lease or develop these, depending on each property’s zoning and land use.

She continued: “Where funding proves insufficient for the extent of the need, our various customer services managers are encouraged to collaborate with local stakeholders to organise clean-up initiatives in their respective areas.”

However, Gush does not see the long-term solution in this strategy. She says clean-up activities held by residents only show results for a short period and that the litter at the station often returns within a few days.

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