Night work may wake sleepers in Hassocks

JPMT. Hassocks Station if need of refurbishment. West side stairway
JPMT. Hassocks Station if need of refurbishment. West side stairway

A major engineering project to install two lift shafts at Hassocks station will start soon, with a warning from engineers about noise at night.

Network Rail has commissioned Geoffrey Osborne Ltd to carry out the work which will end access problems for people with disabilities.

At the moment, platforms on the east and west side of the station are accessed via steep steps and an underground tunnel, with pumping equipment in operation to prevent flooding.

Network Rail’s community relations manager, Rupal Patel, said: “These works are part of The Access for All Programme and are vital to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway fit for the 21st century.”

Mr Patel has warned residents about potential noise, in a flyer dropped through letter boxes.

He says “a lot of the improvements” will be carried out at night and at weekends to minimise disruption to train services.

After some controversy, a majestic oak tree on the west side of the station has been felled to make way for one of the shafts, but some of the oak will be incorporated into a commemorative seat.

Margaret Ford, who chairs Hassocks Amenity Association, said: “The subway will be transformed with a new lining and the steps brought up to modern, disability friendly standards, with warm-to-the touch handrails.”

The improvements are likely to take until December to complete.

Work to install the lifts comes after the completion of a new modular station to replace a concrete one installed by British Rail in 1973. The campaign for a new station was started by Gina Field and the Amenity Association.