Plan for lift stuck after fund­ing turned down

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CAM­PAIGN­ERS are out­raged that a Tube sta­tion will not get ‘vi­tal’ step-free ac­cess, de­spite Trans­port for London re­ceiv­ing an ad­di­tional £75m to pro­vide this fa­cil­ity.

Che­sham and Dis­trict Trans­port Users’ Group re­cently re­ceived a let­ter from TfL man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ver­non Everitt who an­nounced it had se­cured the ex­tra cash to in­stall new lifts at tube sta­tions across the net­work.

The group’s sec­re­tary Alan Wall­work was en­cour­aged by the news and replied to Mr Everitt ask­ing what plans he had for Amer­sham sta­tion, where cam­paign­ers have been fight­ing for a lift for many years.

Upon re­ceiv­ing Mr Everitt’s re­ply, Mr Wall­work was dis­ap­pointed to learn that no work is planned at Amer­sham be­cause ‘fund­ing is not avail­able’ to carry out the ‘sig­nif­i­cant amount of work’ at Amer­sham sta­tion, which would cost more than £10m.

Mr Wall­work added: “It’s dis­ap­point­ing to learn that TfL can­not or will not al­lo­cate funds to im­prove dis­abled ac­cess at Amer­sham Sta­tion.”

Cam­paigner for a lift in Amer­sham, Mike Arm­strong, said: “It is still very neg­a­tive. We are try­ing to get an en­gi­neer to see how much the work would cost, we think it would be less than £10m.”

London Un­der­ground’s strat­egy and ser­vice de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor Gareth Pow­ell said: “The £75m fund will be used to match sig­nif­i­cant third­party con­tri­bu­tions from coun­cils and de­vel­op­ers, to en­able the in­stal­la­tion of new lifts at around a dozen pri­or­ity lo­ca­tions.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the de­sire to make Amer­sham sta­tion step-free for north­bound pas­sen­gers. As the fund has to be pri­ori­tised to where im­prove­ments would en­able the most step-free jour­neys, un­for­tu­nately this is not an ap­proach that’s cur­rently suit­able for Amer­sham sta­tion.”

Pre­vi­ous lift in­stal­la­tion work had to be stopped in 2009/10 be­cause of TfL fund­ing is­sues.

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