Crossrail is a new line, opening fully in 2019, spanning London East to West. It’s costing £14.8bn of public money.
Yet unless current plans are changed, seven stations will not be stepfree, and will be out of bounds to many disabled and older people. Hanwell in Ealing; Manor Park and Maryland in Newham; Seven Kings in Redbridge and Iver, Langley and Taplow to the West of London will not have stepfree access to platforms.
We believe that it is no longer acceptable for disabled and older people to be locked out of their local station. Inaccessible transport is excluding disabled people from participating fully in public life.
Estimates suggest that Crossrail could be fully accessible for as little as 0.2% of the Crossrail budget – a small cost to make this truly public transport.
In 2013, a year after we heard so much about a ‘Paralympic legacy’ there is no excuse for disabled and older people not to be included from the start in new transport infrastructure.
Please join the Crossrail: Access denied campaign to tell the Government that this new railway must be accessible to all of us
MP Mike Gapes who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Crossrail has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on the Government, TfL and Network Rail to make Crossrail a fully stepfree rail line. You can read the EDM and see whether your MP has signed it here.
If they haven’t already, please contact your MP expressing your concern that Crossrail will not be accessible and ask them to add their name to the EDM.
Please write to your MP using the form below and it will be automatically sent on to your MP.
1) Set out the issue.
Explain to your MP that seven stations on this new line will not be accessible. The decision to make Crossrail, a new rail line, only partially accessible was made on incomplete information, without even estimating the costs or benefits of making the seven stations stepfree. Since the decision was made in 2009 that Crossrail would be not be a stepfree rail line, Department for Transport research has found that there is a strongly positive economic case for making stations stepfree.
2) Explain why you think this is unfair
With an ageing population and fewer disabled people qualifying for transport benefits like Motability and Taxicard, more and more disabled and older people need to be able to use our local public transport to get out and about. The alternative is to become stuck at home and isolated. Despite the fact that it would cost a tiny fraction of the Crossrail budget (<0.2%) disabled people are being excluded from using Crossrail with the freedom that everyone else can.
3) Include some personal experience.
Have you or someone in your family been affected by not being able to use inaccessible stations? Does it cause you pain, exhaustion or hassle when you must tackle a staircase to get to the platform, or put you off using a station? Perhaps not being able to access a local station has affected your job prospects?
4) Give your MP a clear ask
Ask your MP to sign EDM 336 on a stepfree Crossrail, and also write to Stephen Hammond, the Crossrail Minister, to ask him to make a Crossrail fully accessible railway London can be proud of.
5) Let us know how you get on!
If you hear back from your MP (and you should!) we’d love to hear their rseponse. Give us a call or drop us an email, this helps us know which MPs are supportive of accessible transport for future campaigns.