Give Us Step Free Access At Hanwell

Don't exclude us from Crossrail say campaigners

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The journey to Canada Square took three times as long for Sally.

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Nearly 70 campaigners gathered outside Hanwell Station on Thursday (29 August) to press Crossrail to provide step-free access at Hanwell Station when the service starts in 2018/19.

They were supporting the Transport for All 'day of action' and made their way to Crossrail head office in central London.

Sally O’Connor - torchbearer for Hanwell is a wheel chair user. She set off from Hanwell Station at the same time as the able-bodied who caught the 10.39 to Paddington from Hanwell.

The wheelchair users were bussed down to Brentford Station (which has step-free access), and then continued to Canada Square by public transport. 

For the able bodied it took less than an hour to get there but Sally’s team did not arrive until 13.15. Their journey took them 2.75 hours, nearly three times as long.

Hanwell Station is one of seven Crossrail stations which will have no step free access. 14.5 billion is being invested in this cross London service connecting Maidenhead in the west to Shenfield in the east.

Crossrail will service 37 stations in total, and only four London stations, Hanwell (Ealing), Seven Kings (Redbridge) and Maryland and Manor Park (both in Newham), will not receive investment to provide step-free access from the street to the platform.

Faryal Velmi, Director of Transport for All said: ''To make the remaining seven Crossrail stations step-free, 19 – 30 lifts would be needed, two of them to access the platforms at Hanwell.

“Based on an estimate of around £1m per lift, the total cost to Crossrail would be £19 – 30million or only 0.1 – 0.2% of their overall budget. Surely this should be within the contingency for overspend that they have already taken into account?”.

Carolyn Brown, Chair of Hanwell Community Forum says: ''Hanwell Station is on an embankment and as such the platforms are accessed by a long, steep staircase. This clearly makes Hanwell Station impossible for wheelchair users; but in terms of accessibility this also makes it a challenge for anyone with heavy or unwieldy luggage, for parents managing pushchairs and young children, for the elderly who may not be as fit as they once were, or for anyone with impaired mobility, temporary or otherwise, to use this station.”

''There can be no excuse in this day and age for failing to provide access for everyone when building new transport services.''


September 5, 2013