Brent Cross commuters challenge new train station plans
- Credit: Archant
Local politicians are backing campaigners who say Brent Cross West Thameslink station won’t be accessible enough for disabled people under current plans.
London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore, Barnet councillor Anne Clarke and Camden councillor Lorna Russell wrote to bosses at Barnet Council, which is jointly managing the project, urging them to make the station fully accessible.
According to current plans, wheelchair users, those with prams and bikes will only have access to lifts to get to the platforms – there will be no ramps.
“The problem with lifts is that they need to be large,” said former Lib Dem councillor Alison Hopkins.
“If you have people waiting in rush hour it’s pretty mad.”
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There are also misgivings that the station won’t be step-free from platform to train. Wheelchair user Ruth Bailey said: “I was delighted to hear there is going to be a new station, but I’m now really worried I won’t be able to use it.”
The station, due to open in 2022, is part of a £4.5bn regeneration scheme to modernise Brent Cross, which includes the expansion of the shopping centre, the addition of a new bus station and 7,500 new homes.
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A detailed planning application is yet to be submitted to the council.
A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “We welcome residents’ participation in the consultation for the new Brent Cross West Thameslink station and would encourage others to submit their views.
“The planning application for the proposed station will be submitted later this year, when it will be considered by committee members.
“If the application is approved, the delivery team will then start to look at the more detailed elements of the station design.
“Part of this will include looking beyond the current provision of step-free access from pavement to platform, to include step-free access from platform to train for passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility, as well as passengers travelling with prams.”
Barnet Council has confirmed that there are plans to include seven lifts, each of which can accommodate 16 people.