‘Take ac­tion now at dis­gust­ing sta­tion’

For­mer award-win­ning Hilling­don site ‘is look­ing tacky and aw­ful’

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Ha­mant Verma ed­i­to­ri­aluxbridge@trin­i­tysouth.co.uk

RES­I­DENTS are de­mand­ing ur­gent ac­tion af­ter a for­mer un­der­ground sta­tion of the year has slipped into a ‘dis­gust­ing’ state.

The fu­tur­is­tic all white steel-framed ar­chi­tec­ture of Hilling­don Sta­tion made it a land­mark in west Lon­don when it re­opened in 1994 and led to the fa­cil­ity by the A40 be­ing listed and given pro­tected sta­tus by Hilling­don Coun­cil.

The re­built sta­tion won an award shortly be­fore its com­ple­tion for un­der­ground sta­tion of the year with its low-pitched roof likened to an old Vic­to­rian train-shed.

But years of ne­glect by Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL) has left it in a sorry state, say res­i­dents and com­muters, who have been left fur­ther an­gered be­cause TfL con­firmed last week that it will be another three years be­fore the de­cay is ad­dressed.

Vic Stone­ham is a spokesman for the lo­cal Oak Farm Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion and has lived in the area for 44 years.

The for­mer rail­way worker said: “It is pretty grim at the mo­ment with all the peel­ing paint­work and the filthy roof. It is al­ready tacky and aw­ful on the plat­forms and I dread to think how bad it will look in three years.

“TfL has not re­ally taken care of this sta­tion since it was re­built. Soon peo­ple will stop want­ing to use it be­cause of its dis­gust­ing ap­pear­ance. What makes it worse is that it is one of the few wheel­chair-friendly sta­tions in west Lon­don.”

Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip MP Boris John­son said: “I un­der­stand that forth­com­ing sta­tion im­prove­ments which will spruce up this im­por­tant com­muter hub are in the pipeline. I will be keep­ing a close eye on the re­ju­ve­na­tion of Hilling­don Sta­tion.”

Mr Stone­ham added: “You would hope that hav­ing such a high-pro­file MP would mean that things would be sorted quicker, but no. All Boris seems to be in­ter­ested in is shut­ting Heathrow.”

It is also un­clear when the sta­tion will get dot-ma­trix elec­tronic ‘count­down’ boards that have been com­mon on the Un­der­ground sys­tem for decades.

The coun­cil’s listed sta­tus for the sta­tion is sep­a­rate to English Her­itage’s Grade I and II his­tor­i­cal pro­tec­tion pro­grammes.

A TfL spokesper­son said: “As part of our Tube mod­erni­sa­tion plan, all Lon­don Un­der­ground sta­tions have planned im­prove­ment work sched­uled to take place. Cur­rently we have plans to be­gin work at Hilling­don sta­tion be­tween 2018 and 2021, which will de­liver im­prove­ments to the ap­pear­ance and con­di­tion of the public ar­eas.”

There are plans for new flats and a large su­per­mar­ket close by, which will bring more at­ten­tion to the sta­tion.

n RUN-DOWN: Vic Stone­ham from Oak Farm Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion is un­happy at the ne­glect of Hilling­don Sta­tion

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