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Anger at liftless new Tube station UK

  • March 2, 2010
  • Bruce Bromley

Disability groups have expressed anger that the recently built Shepherd’s Bush underground station has no lift. The station, built to coincide with the opening of the Westfield shopping mall, opened in September 2008 and serves 70,000 passengers per week. The director of Hammersmith and Fulham Action for Disability (Hafad), Kamran Mallick, condemned the development. He said: ‘Stepfree access to the Underground is essential if the Tube network is to truly become a public service. Disabled people have the same rights as other commuters yet it is seen as acceptable to continue to allow barriers to this basic freedom.’

Transport for London (TfL) defended the decision not to install a lift, saying that while the lift itself would have cost £1 million, constructing the lift shafts could cost up to £100 million. A TfL spokeswoman said: ‘The project was put on hold after costs escalated significantly, due to the complex engineering challenges of the site. Subsequent to that, additional costs from the absorption of Metronet and the economic downturn have forced the indefinite deferral of a number of step-free access projects including Shepherd’s Bush.’

Hammersmith and Fulham councillor Nicholas Botterill pledged to continue the campaign for an accessible station, saying: ‘People with mobility impairments, including our disabled and elderly residents and mums with push chairs, are demanding access to Shepherds Bush Central line station and we will continue to lobby TfL hard on this.’