Major row over station repairs

A BITTER row has broken out between the bodies charged with upgrading a major Olympic rail station. Wembley Central Station, which will host Olympic crowds going to Wembley Stadium when the games come to London in 2012, currently suffers rainwater leaks

A BITTER row has broken out between the bodies charged with upgrading a major Olympic rail station.

Wembley Central Station, which will host Olympic crowds going to Wembley Stadium when the games come to London in 2012, currently suffers rainwater leaks over platforms and the lack of a disabled lift to enable full, step-free access.

Network Rail, the publicly owned body with operates Britain's railways, said the repair work was not their responsibility but that of the London Development Agency (LDA), which had originally pledged to fund the repairs.

However, the LDA denied they were to blame for the delays, citing a 'fraught' relationship that had led to them being unexpectedly charged �1.8 million by Network Rail.


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A Network Rail spokesman said the work to provide step-free access to the station had been promoted by the London Development Agency (LDA). He said: "Network Rail's only role has been one of 'asset protection' - making sure that our infrastructure is safeguarded while work is carried out. Network Rail is not funded for improvement works at Wembley Central."

But an LDA spokesman said: "The LDA has been working with Brent Council, Transport for London and others to help Network Rail to complete the upgrade of their station but we have never had an agreement to fund Network Rail for the second phase the station upgrade."

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He said: "We have found this relationship to be fraught as Network Rail have charged us an additional �1.8m in fees for our support of their upgrades.

"We have been waiting for almost a year for Network Rail to respond to our requests to close out our investment in the first phase of this project."

Brent Council leader, Paul Lorber said the delays had prompted him to write to Network Rail to get the repairs jump started.

He said: "The ultimate responsibility for the station lies with Network Rail and as far as we are concerned it is they who need to get their act together."

He said: "We need to ensure action urgently so the thousands of people who use Wembley Central Station week in and week out can receive the service they are entitled to, and travel in reasonable comfort without leaky roofs and lifts that don't work.

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