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Disabled and older people demonstrate for an accessible Crystal Palace Station

On 5th July, Transport for All, and a coalition of local disabled residents and parents with pushchairs staged a demonstration outside Crystal Palace station.

We were calling on the Mayor of London and Chair of Transport for London Boris Johnson to ensure that funds are made available to provide step free access to platforms at the station and reopen the former ticket hall.

For far too long, Crystal Palace station has been out of bounds to many disabled and older people, not to mention the hassle for parents with pushchairs and passengers with luggage and heavy shopping.

We were joined by Jim Dowd MP who handed a 650 signature petition to London Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross calling for lifts at the station. The support we had from passengers was enormous and all expressed their anger and frustration about the 119 steps from the platform to the street.

Local resident Valerie Weston uses the London Overground Line to travel to museums and galleries in London. However, she’s forced to avoid Crystal Palace station and do a much longer journey by bus, rather than face all the steps. “We would use it much more if we didn’t have to climb all the steps to get out!” she said. “At 80 and 73 we both find it is getting much more difficult!”

Long flight of stairs

Ms Shawcross informed us that she will present the petition to the London Assembly on 20 July. A decision will be made by the Autumn, when Department for Transport announces successful bids under the Access for All programme.