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London Underground boss admits disabled access plans have been scrapped

London Underground managing director Mike Brown last week admitted that plans to provide step free access to a third of London’s Tube stations had been ditched ahead of talks about spending cuts.

Brown told NCE’s annual London Rail conference that the ambition was no longer deliverable, and that schemes like the expansion of Victoria station were far more important to protect.

“It is tough, but it is really difficult to foresee a time when step-free access will be where we want it to be,” said Brown.

“Even getting to a position where there are a number of stations across the network that could act as hubs [for disabled people to change transport modes] now seems ambitious.”

London Underground currently has 58 step-free stations. But Transport for London’s (TfL’s) latest 2009/10 business plan says that it has had to stop work at Osterley, Ladbroke Grove, Amersham, West Kensington, Newbury Park and Greenford stations.

“It is tough, but it is really difficult to foresee a time when step-free access will be where we want it to be”

Mike Brown

Instead, TfL has decided to protect major schemes at Victoria, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road which will include step-free access. Providing accessibility at the key 2012 Olympic Games stations at Green Park and Southfields is also a priority.

Brown said the £695M Victoria station improvement - which will increase the capacity of the station by 50% as well as providing step free access - was a classic example of project that was not “nice to have” but “absolutely fundamental”.

“At the moment, we simply cannot get enough people in to the station to take advantage of the Victoria Line Upgrade.” The Victoria Line Upgrade will increase capacity on the line by 20% through new track, trains and signalling.

Readers' comments (1)

  • This relects the reality that spending has to be for the MAJORITY benefit not just a small minority. We dont have the wealth that ancient egypt and other civilisations had - but then they didn't have a banking system like the one we have now.

    The sooner that this concept receives general approbation the better, and the sooner the country [indeed the western world] will be out of debt. It will be hard for some minorities, but "family" will just have to chip in and do what they ALL ever used to do.

    Interestingly "war" seems to stimulate this approach: it is when the "I want's" get over ridden. At the moment, a substantial part of the populace doesn't even bother to vote - let alone concern themselves with reducing waste [and that includes electricity, gas, water, etc etc].

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