Campaigners demand step-free access at Newbury Park station after ‘broken promises’

The seven kings and Newbury park residents association are campaigning with local councillors and re

The seven kings and Newbury park residents association are campaigning with local councillors and residents to have lifts that were started at newbury park station installed for disabled access. - Credit: Archant

More than 60 residents, councillors, campaigners and MPs gathered outside Newbury Park Tube station on Saturday to demand step-free access for passengers.

But Transport for London officals have insisted there are still “no plans” for lifts.

Work on promised lifts at the station, in Eastern Avenue, was started by Transport for London (TfL) in 2009 but the project was stopped after funds ran short.

The Seven Kings and Newbury Park Residents’ Association is renewing pressure on TfL to provide step-free access after plans for lifts at nearby Seven Kings station were also scrapped by Crossrail.

Chairman Rev Jonathan Evens said: “Transport planners have been playing cruel tricks on local residents over step-free access at local stations.

“We are calling on the Mayor of London to ensure planners make good on these broken promises and deliver the step-free access that has repeatedly been promised to local residents.”

Residents’ association member Mark Kennedy said the lifts were needed not just for the disabled but for the elderly, people with walking difficulties or families with pushchairs and luggage.

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MPs and councillors of all parties have united to join their campaign.

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, branded the reversal of installation works “ridiculous”.

He added: “The mayor and TfL should get their finger out and act now.”

Ilford North MP Lee Scott said: “The passenger numbers using Newbury Park station are greatly underestimated and this lift project should be completed as soon as possible.”

Roger Evans, London Assembly member for Havering and Redbridge, gave his support to the campaign.

He added: “It is very important that we bring the need for lifts to the attention of TfL and make them aware that this issue is not going away.”

Phil Hufton, chief operating officer for London Underground, said step-free access work is being focused on busier key interchange stations.

He added: “Whilst some provisional work was carried out several years ago at Newbury Park for the installation of lifts, with the current level of funding available, there are no plans to install lifts at this station.”