Transport for All is delighted that councillors approved the development, and that plans for a stepfree Tower Hill station will now go ahead.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact councillors. The planned improvement works will mean that passengers on the DLR, which is fully stepfree, will now be able to link up to the Underground and get into Central London. For older and disabled people as well as parents with buggies, this will lead to a huge increase in personal mobility.
Ultimately, Transport for London should be funding ‘no strings’ stepfree access; and we will continue to lobby for increased funding from TfL for access. But in the short term, investment from private developers for access, like at Tower Hill, can be a vital boost for enabling everyone to travel independently.
On Monday 28th November, Tower Hamlets Planning and Development Committee will decide on whether to approve a scheme which would bring stepfree access to the platform of Tower Hill station.
Transport for All are encouraging people to write to councillors on the Planning Committee to urge them to allow the development, which includes a lift at the station, to go ahead. If you can include personal stories of how a lift at the station would improve your mobility, all the better. The contact details of councillors who are on the Committee can be found here: http://sps2ksrv.towerhamlets.gov.uk/meetYourCouncillor/MembersByCommittee.aspx?ActivityID=106
You can view the letter we sent here: https://www.transportforall.org.uk/files/towerhill.doc
Campaigners are also planning to attend the meeting, to show the strength of local support for a Tower Hill which all passengers, including older and disabled people and parents with buggies, are able to use.
If you would like to join us, please come to the Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London E14 2BG at 6.30 pm on Monday 28th November. We will have a short, good-humoured demonstration outside before going in to attend the meeting.
You can let us know you are planning to come along by attending the facebook event
Mike Smith, the Chief Executive of local disabled people’s organisation Real, said “We applaud the developers for including step-free access to the platforms in their plans for the hotel and station complex. However, there is more to accessibility than a new lift. We urge developers to show a real commitment to inclusion by carrying out a full accessibility audit with the input of disabled people.”
TfL recently cut their target to increase step-free access across the network. But the funding to improve accessibility at Tower Hill would come as part of plans to build a hotel in the area.
Disabled residents in Tower Hamlets have waited too long already to be allowed to use the Tube like everyone else. This is a great opportunity to increase access in the borough so that older and disabled people can use the station with the same freedom and independence that others take for granted.