In a boost for campaigners, Department for Transport and Transport for London have published a report setting out ‘practical, workable solutions’ to making the line fully accessible.
DfT and TfL, joint sponsors of the £14.8bn project, have reaffirmed their commitment to making the line stepfree, although they have not yet stated if the line will be stepfree by the time it opens in 2018. The line, which will stretch from Reading to Shenfield, has seven stations where stepfree access is unconfirmed: Seven Kings; Maryland; Manor Park; Hanwell; Taplow; Iver and Langley.
The sponsors say they are “looking at funding options to pay for these improvements.“
Following our ‘Paralympic Legacy’ campaign last year, calling for Crossrail to be fully stepfree, DfT and TfL pledged to investigate further the potential for making the line stepfree, enabling older and disabled Londoners to use the line on an equal basis with non disabled people. The report estimates the cost of making Crossrail stepfree as £30m – 0.02% of the entire budget.
A fully stepfree Crossrail would be transformative for disabled and older Londoners, opening up work opportunities as well as improving our ability to travel freely in London and enjoy all that the capital has to offer. We urge DfT and TfL to work to swiftly secure the funding to ensure Crossrail becomes an inclusive rail line that Londoners can be proud of.
“We are committed to making the entire railway open to everyone“
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London now has one of the most accessible public transport networks in the world, with further improvements underway at stations, bus stops and on our trains. It is therefore only right that Crossrail is also part of that accessible future. This report sets out workable solutions for step-free access at all Crossrail stations and I will continue working alongside the DfT and TfL to help deliver that.”
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said: “World class transport networks are a vital part in the national economic plan but they have to be accessible to all. This is why everyone in the Crossrail family supports the aim of making all of the route accessible. The publication of this study is a step in the right direction.”
Mike Brown, the Managing Director of London Underground and London Rail, said: “Crossrail is going to transform how people travel in and across London and we are committed to making the entire railway open to everyone. Providing an accessible transport network is a priority for TfL and we have already made significant improvements to make travelling in London easier for customers with disabilities. The provision of 40 step free stations for Crossrail is an important part of that work so that London can continue to deliver greater accessibility.”
The options set out for each station are:
- Seven Kings: A new footbridge with three lifts and stairs, accessed from a walkway on the embankment south of platform one
- Maryland: Three lifts inside the existing building
- Manor Park: A new footbridge with three lifts and stairs
- Hanwell: Lifts to both platforms with the final scheme under review with Ealing and English Heritage
- Iver: Two new lifts on existing footbridge with a long ramp to platform one which is occasionally used by Crossrail services
- Langley: A new footbridge with three lifts and stairs
- Taplow: A new footbridge with two lifts and stairs