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Accessibility Campaign

Accessibility improvements for local rail stations

Accessibility campaign for improvements in local rail stations

Our local rail stations and trains are such a great resource – enabling us to get in and out of central London easily. That’s why local residents and I fought a successful campaign to protect these services when they were under threat last year.

But there is another issue which needs to be tackled. Bowes Park, Alexandra Palace, Hornsey and Harringay stations all have one thing in common – they are not accessible for many elderly and disabled residents. It is also very difficult for people with pushchairs or bikes to access the rail services.

I recently visited local stations to have a look around and see the challenges faced by some people who may wish to use the trains.

Just getting on to a platform at Hornsey requires walking up and down two long staircases. At the others there are slopes into the stations, but no lifts down on to the platforms. Even if you manage to get down onto the platform, there is then a big gap between the train and the platform.

In this day and age – it is just not right. Local services should be accessible for everyone. That’s why I’ve started a campaign for change, and am asking residents to join in. You can sign the petition online at www.tinyurl.com/AccessHaringey

Changes like this won’t happen overnight, and this will be a long campaign. Shockingly, there are no current feasibility studies on providing step free access at our local stations. This has been confirmed by both Network Rail and Govia, who are taking over the management of rail services at our local stations.

So, the first step is to get Network Rail to conduct a feasibility study into making stations more accessible. That is what the petition calls for, and I will put this to Network Rail when I meet with them to discuss this. The more signatures we get on the petition, the greater chance we have of convincing them. So please do sign up, and encourage your friends and neighbours to do so too.

These kind of campaigns can make a huge difference. It took years of work and hundreds of signatures, but local residents, Lib Dems and I did secure the new, accessible bus stop on Muswell Hill Broadway after persistent campaigning!

Now, elderly and disabled residents, and those with young children or heavy bags, can board the bus easily, without having to wait on a steep hill. In the future, I very much hope to see our local stations also being accessible for everyone.

You can help make this happen by signing the petition here: http://tinyurl.com/AccessHaringey

 

Lynne Featherstone
About Lynne Featherstone (45 Articles)
Lib Dem MP for Hornsey & Wood Green Minister at the Department for International Development