|Council Defends Ealing Broadway Station Plans|
Lifts not escalators are the best option says Councillor
Crossrail will be the first to admit that they have made significant improvements to their proposals as a direct consequence of their work with Ealing Council. We have used our position to lobby and get concrete improvements rather than just writing press releases.
We have conducted an independent review of how many people will be using the station, vitally secured an additional lift to the main platforms, which are more accessible in design than the original single lift; got a bigger platform, new toilets, additional retail space and most importantly made sure these works are brought forward by two years.
Alongside this we have been working hard over the past four years to secure the funding and consulted on proposals to improve the forecourt and the area around Haven Green to compliment the new station. Work on our new interchange has already begun and this, when fully completed, will provide vastly improved information for commuters looking to use trains and buses from Ealing Broadway as well as drop off points for those who wish to drive their loved ones to the station.
Those engaged in the discussions with Crossrail will be fully aware that for security reasons the forecourt will not be allowed to have vehicles on it. We have been clear that we want to reclaim this space for pedestrians who are currently squeezed onto a narrow pavement outside the station. The view of a brick wall as you exit the station should be changed with the demolition of as much of it as possible and levelling off of the space around it. This is something we have secured.
At a time that we need to increase capacity at the station, introducing escalators would do exactly the opposite by limiting the numbers of people able to use the space afforded by a wide staircase, with queues and crowding the obvious side effects. What I wanted us to focus on was increasing capacity and supporting those who can't or seriously struggle to use the station now such as those in wheelchairs or with buggies; hence why we have ensured there are four lifts.
The "Tintin haircut" style design at the front of the building won't ignite a yearning passion in the hearts of anyone in Ealing and so we have welcomed the call for an independent review of the design of Crossrail stations to ensure we all get the best looking as well as practical station that Ealing deserves.
Cabinet member for Transport and Environment
14th January 2014