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Residents’ groups will fight Crossrail plans not to include step-free access at Seven Kings

Thursday, January 16, 2014
4:09 PM

Campaigners insisted they will not stop fighting for step-free access at Seven Kings station on Thursday.

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Matthew White, Crossrail’s surface director, who is overseeing the Redbridge stations, gave an overview of how the London-wide project will affect the borough at an external scrutiny meeting at Redbridge Town Hall on Wednesday.

After learning Crossrail is still searching for ways to fund step-free access at Seven Kings, campaigner Ron Jeffries, 80, said he feared he would never see lifts at the station in his lifetime.

Mr Jeffries, of Aldborough Hatch, said: “Redbridge will miss out on step-free access and I think that is wrong - I do believe that Seven Kings should be step-free.”

Mr Jeffries, chairman of residents’ community group Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, has campaigned tirelessly, with all three political parties, for Crossrail to rethink its plans for Seven Kings.

“I was not put at ease by Matthew White,” added Mr Jeffries. “I am not at all satisfied.

“We will keep the campaign going and we will not be giving up.”

Mark Kennedy, a committee member on the Seven Kings and Newbury Park Residents’ Association, echoed Mr Jeffries’ words and insisted the groups would “fight on”.

The council’s committee was told that Crossrail is bidding to the Department of Transport for more funding and other sponsors are being sought.

Jon Abrams, of the Redbridge Disability Consortium, added: “It is depressing Crossrail is the biggest construction project in Europe and despite the technology, management skills and resources available that the simple engineering challenge of ensuring step free access at all stations has not been sorted out.”

Transport for London - Crossrail’s senior partner - confirmed it is looking at all the options to bring step-free access to Seven Kings.

A TFL spokesperson said: “TFL and the Department for Transport, the joint sponsors of the Crossrail project, aim to make the whole Crossrail route accessible.

“There is already provision for 31 of the 38 stations to have step free access and work is underway to look at practical solutions and funding options for the remaining seven.”

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