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Monday, 3 June 2013

Lack of step-free access at Newbury Park and Seven Kings stations

The Seven Kings & Newbury Park Resident's Association (SKNPRA) has recently written to the Mayor of London about the lack of step-free access at Newbury Park and Seven Kings stations.

It is our understanding that Newbury Park Station, amongst others, were designated to have lifts installed some time ago. However, as confirmed by a poster at the station in November 2009, these plans were dropped due to financial problems which TfL were experiencing at the time. The Yellow Advertiser reported in December 2009 that “workmen at Newbury Park station have begun filling in lift shafts after cash for disabled access ran out”. The reported £4.6 million already spent on the project appears to have been wasted.

Our members believe that this would be a good time to revive the plans for Newbury Park Station and have identified numerous reasons for this:

1. The financial situation of TfL is now much improved. This being augmented by income from the Olympic Games sale of tickets, both from the IOC directly and the general public.

2. The improved facilities at Stratford particularly the lift installations on all platforms have been of great assistance to disabled people. In many cases enabling them to attend the Olympics and the Stratford Westfield shopping centre.

3. The installation of two lifts at Newbury Park Station, we understand would be a simple and cheap operation (perhaps the reason it was selected in the first place) as comparable to some other stations.

4. It is also worth noting that Newbury Park station is the first point of entry to the underground system for people living in Romford and further along the A12.

5. It is one of the few underground stations in the area with significant car parking facilities, 456 spaces, including 6 disabled bays.

6. The district has an ageing population and hence a large number of people who are disabled. Unlike many other stations which have either lifts and/or escalators for part of movement from platform to street Newbury Park has neither. Therefore many are prohibited from using the station altogether for this reason.

We believe that the cancellation of this work and the changes to the Crossrail plans for Seven Kings station mean that local residents have moved from a position where step-free access was promised for both stations to the current position of many continuing being denied access to the public transport system in the area. We believe this to be unacceptable in the 21st Century. We believe too that there is considerable support in our approach from local MPs, MEPs, Councillors and Transport Unions as well as the general public and we will be sharing our correspondence with them.

SKNPRA will hold its AGM at St John's Seven Kings on Monday 17th June at 8.00pm.


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