|Ealing Broadway Station Plans Turn Political|
Improvement work doesn't go far enough
Redevelopment proposals for Ealing Broadway Station have been strongly criticised by a prospective parliamentary candidate.
Liberal Democrat, Jon Ball, who will be standing for Ealing Central and Acton in the next election, says the plans submitted by Crossrail are a missed opportunity.
Last week the company announced step free access, a new entrance hall and a glass fronted facade alongside new lifts and staircases.
However Mr Ball says this is not enough:
''The rebuild of Ealing Broadway station represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of Ealing to get the fit-for-purpose modern station they need and deserve.
''Sadly, what Crossrail is proposing fails to provide an escalator and includes only very small lifts so even though user numbers are set to rise dramatically, the bulk of passangers will still be forced to push their way down narrow and dangerous steps to the platforms.
''Proper interchange with buses will still not be provided either. Ealing's Labour Council and Ealing Central's Conservative MP should hang their heads in shame that they have failed to win a better station for Ealing."
His criticisms have been rebutted by the Ealing Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz:
'' Crossrail offers a once in a life time opportunity to improve connections for commuters in West London. We were not satisfied that the proposals for only one lift serving the 6 main platforms were adequate and I am delighted that we’ve successfully got them [Crossrail] to double that offer to meet the needs of local people.
'' It’s a huge victory that truly opens up Ealing Broadway station and will make it accessible to all. The icing on the cake is that the station improvements will be delivered 18 months ahead of the original schedule thanks to the work we have done, because residents in Ealing deserve better and they deserve not to have to wait till 2018 for it.
'' Alongside this we have already started works on our Manifesto pledge to deliver a transport interchange at the station which will improve the connectivity between trains, tube, buses, cycling and taxi journeys as well as moving ahead with starting to reclaim the forecourt for pedestrians. This is in stark contrast to the pie in the sky proposals of an £85m gargantuan monstrosity of a bus station that the Lib Dems would have us build, which could only have been paid for by allowing a tower block the size of Canary Wharf in the heart of Ealing.
Rupa Huq, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Ealing Central and Acton, says:
''I welcome the modernisation of Ealing Broadway as part of Crossrail, which was commissioned by the last Labour government, but we need to push to make the best of this opportunity with Crossrail bosses genuinely acting on want local people want to see. For instance Ealing Broadway station has been the scene of suicides previously so we should push for platform edge doors like on the Jubilee line extension. We also need make sure that disabled access is exemplary unlike on so much of London transport.''
Ealing Central and Acton Conservative MP, Angie Bray, says whilst the proposals aren't perfect they are still far better than the current situation.
'' "Since I was selected as a candidate for Ealing Central and Acton, I have been organising meetings between local stakeholders, including the Council, and the major transport groups to discuss the Crossrail project and its impact across the constituency. We have always done our best to impress on Crossrail the importance of getting it right at Ealing Broadway station. What we have now in the plans is certainly not as good as we might have wished, but it will be a far better station than we have now - and safer.
'' There had been concern that in the Comprehensive Spending Review announced by the Chancellor in 2010, the Crossrail project would be severely scaled down. In the event, after pressure from London MPs like myself, London kept Crossrail in its entirety, which came as a huge relief. We will continue to argue for the best outcome and we have another meeting in January. Among those attending will be colleagues of Jon Ball, including his former local party chairman - perhaps he should get a briefing from him to find out about the work we continue to do?"
Work on the station is expected to start in October 2015 and last around 14 months, the station will remain open during the work.
When Crossrail fully opens in 2019, up to ten services an hour in each direction will serve Ealing Broadway.
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3rd December 2013