CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Step-free access at the Underground station is an obvious and necessary first step

18 January, 2018

Tulip Siddiq

• WEST Hampstead is a key transport hub for inner-London, serving many thousands of commuters each day.

With the Overground, Thameslink and Underground a matter of metres from one another, our area should be the envy of residents across the city and the outer suburbs.

However the problems with West Hampstead’s transport offer are numerous and have been a focal point for campaigns over the best part of a decade.

From the lack of step-free access at the Underground station to the dangerous overcrowding across the board, there have been a number of missed opportunities to put the stations on a sustainable footing.

It is therefore welcome that Sadiq Khan is bringing some much-needed investment to stations across London and to ensure their accessibility.

Nobody should be excluded from using the tube because they are unable to use stairs, and so the £200m step-free improvement plan is a hugely positive step.

But local frustrations have only intensified following the decision to omit West Hampstead Underground from the plan.

Many local groups, including WHAT, West Hampstead Mums and West Hampstead Gardens & Residents’ Association, have written to me with their dismay, and I can only stress my determination to keep raising my objections with those serving at the highest echelons of City Hall.

Our area is home to an ever-increasing number of young families and elderly people and it is unacceptable that they should have such difficulties in accessing the platform.

For the best part of seven years, our community has called for a general redevelopment of West Hampstead transport infrastructure to create an interchange that can cope with demand.

The introduction a lift at the Underground station is an obvious and necessary first step, and I will continue to make the case for it.

TULIP SIDDIQ MP
Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn

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