Ealing Broadway Protest Planned
Saturday 18th September
The Ealing Cycling Campaign is organising a demonstration outside Ealing Broadway Station tomorrow (11-11.30am on Saturday 18 September) to raise awareness of the lack of platform access for a range of local people.
The protest will highlight how the station has become a no-go area for many groups who find stairs difficult to negotiate, including parents with children in buggies, people with disabilities, cyclists with bikes and passengers with heavy luggage.
Passengers using the station must negotiate more than 30 stairs to reach platform level if travelling on the District or Central Underground lines or eastbound on the overground train to Paddington. There is a further set of stairs for those travelling westbound on the overground to destinations including Heathrow airport.
The station’s current policy is to ask parents to remove children from their buggies and staff will then carry the buggy down to platform level. But in order for parents to alert staff they need assistance they must first make their way down a flight of nine steps to the ticket hall. The station has a similar staff-assistance policy for disabled people who can walk down stairs but a sign outside the station warns wheelchair users that the nearest accessible station is Paddington.
Passengers with bikes or heavy luggage, including tourists using the Heathrow Connect service, receive no assistance from station staff and must negotiate the hazardous steps on their own.
The Ealing Cycling Campaign and other passenger user groups have been campaigning for four years to improve access to the station but no progress has been made. The station operators First Great Western and Transport for London have been unwilling to provide a short- or medium-term solution to the problem, saying the station will be redeveloped as part of the proposed Crossrail network. The redeveloped Ealing Broadway station is not expected to be completed until at least 2017, by which time there will have been an estimated 10th of a billion passenger entries and exits from the station, according to Transport for London data.
Protestors are calling on the station operators to install either a temporary lift ahead of the Crossrail improvements or install a permanent lift that can be incorporated into the final station redesign.
Andy Hillier, spokesman for the Ealing Cycling Campaign and parent of 20-month-old Oscar, says: “It’s hugely disappointing in this day and age that Ealing Broadway Station is a no-go area for those who struggle to negotiate stairs. The station should be accessible to all. The installation of a lift would make a huge difference to the lives of a great number of residents. The station operators need to sit down and find a way of making sure that everyone can use the station.”
Angie Bray, Member of Parliament for Ealing Central & Acton, who has been calling for improvements to station for many years, says: “I have been a long time supporter of the Ealing Cycling Campaign’s work in promoting cycling and also pushing for better facilities. They are key members of my local transport group which is working with key transport stakeholders and the council to get improvements at Ealing Broadway station, which are still woefully lacking. I applaud them for their commitment to making life better for local people.”
September 17th, 2010