CamdenNewJournal

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Use planning deal cash to fund lift at West Hampstead station, say Tories

Will businesses chip in to finally make station step-free?

12 April, 2018 — By Richard Osley

David Brescia speaking at hustings in West Hampstead

CONSERVATIVES pledge to use money drawn into the Town Hall through development deals to pay for a long-awaited lift at West Hampstead station.

All four parties at the West Hampstead hustings said they were behind the campaign to make the station step-free for disabled and elderly passengers. But with Transport for London warning that the cost could be prohibitive, election candidates are split on how to get the project working.

With the issue raised at hustings in West Hampstead on Monday evening, David Brescia, for the Conservatives, said contributions from developers working on large projects in the area should be spent on the station. “It is one of our five policy pledges and it would be funded by ring-fenced funding from money that Camden has making from local developments,” he said. “We’ve got a huge number of tower blocks and so on being built in this area. Camden gets Section 106 money. It’s a cast iron promise.”

Labour candidate Shiva Tiwari

Labour’s Shiva Tiwari said TfL needed to come up with a feasibility study and answer questions as to why lesser used stations – he referenced Amersham – had lifts and West Hampstead did not. “If we need someone to step in, whether that’s the council or businesses, you can bet your bottom dollar we will be pushing them to support the development of the lift for the tube,” he said.

Liberal Democrat Flick Rea

The view that businesses in the area could chip in has been floated before but Liberal Democrat councillor Flick Rea said: “The West Hampstead businesses were asked to fund hanging baskets some years ago and they refused so I don’t think they are going to fund a lift. But I’m, sure all of us would work with local business if they were prepared to be generous.”

Green Party candidate David Stansell said he would use his connections in his day job world of management consultancy to help.“I have lots of colleagues and ex colleagues who have worked TfL and I think I could probably personally find some people in TfL who I can speak to, even tomorrow, to address this.”

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