December 11 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Seven Kings train station is on the “top of the list” for step-free access under a new government scheme, according to Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
The news was given a cautious welcome by campaigners battling for lifts at the station, in High Road, which is one of a handful on the Crossrail route not given disabled access.
Plans for lifts at Seven Kings and an ambitious rebuild of Ilford station were axed when the project’s budget was cut in 2010.
Speaking at a London Assembly meeting earlier this month, Mr Johnson said a programme agreed with the Department for Transport would make all seven Crossrail stations without lifts accessible.
He added: “I am told Seven Kings is top of the list because it is a high-volume station.
“When exactly we can deliver it will depend on the outcome of the work we are doing to bottom out the costs and the timings, but we are certainly going to do it.”
Havering and Redbridge assembly member Roger Evans told the mayor residents were led to believe the station would be made accessible when Crossrail was promoted.
He said: “The government is still discussing it but the important thing is the commitment from the mayor.”
Lianna Etkind, from campaign group Transport for All, hailed the relentless work of residents and councillors in Redbridge, which included a Paralympic Legacy Torch Relay protest in August.
She said: “I feel it’s not going to be done until that funding comes out and it’s still a concern that Boris Johnson and ministers are just falling short of a full commitment.”
Cllr Bob Littlewood said: “It looks like the efforts of Ilford South MP Mike Gapes and Roger Evans might have born fruit.
“But the proof is in the pudding – we need it made definite and soon.”