Restore the 'Access for All' funding for Streatham station
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Thanks to local pressure, Streatham station was selected by the Department for Transport for much-needed improvements, to make it accessible for all. The work was promised to be completed by 2019 at the latest. But now the Government has gone back on its word. It has cut the funding for the programme and said the work in Streatham won’t be done until 2020 at the earliest, and possibly not until 2024. And that's of course assuming that there won't be further cuts and delays!
Why a step-free Streatham station is needed:
Many people with mobility issues, or those with prams and buggies, or those carrying heavy luggage or shopping, currently struggle to use Streatham station.
It is the poor cousin of other local stations. There are no lifts; but lots of stairs. There is no step-free access on the 'southbound' platform. And the step-free access on the 'northbound' platform is reliant on staff-help, and can only be reached via a potentially long detour. The nearest alternate Thameslink station, Tulse Hill, is no use either, as it also has no step-free access.
Yet Streatham station is right at the heart of many of Streatham's transport, shopping and leisure facilities; and serves a wide residential area. Both population numbers and train users locally have gone up hugely in the past few years, and are expected to continue to rise.
Transport for All:
As campaign group Transport for All says: "We need access improvements to happen by 2019 as they were originally planned and expected. It is grossly unfair that disabled and older people are being asked to defer their lives for another five years in order to ‘iron out’ previous Network Rail inefficiencies."
Transport for All, Inclusion London, Disabled People Against Cuts, Disbaility Rights UK, RNIB, Muscular Dystrophy Campaign UK and Campaign for Better Transport all want to see the Government keep its original commitments and timescale for the Access for All programme.
Political and community support:
Since the funding was initially announced in 2014, local Labour councillors and Streatham's MP and Lambeth's Assembly Member have had regular contact with Department for Transport and Network Rail - to check and advise on the development of the plans, and to remind officials of the local community and political support for the improvement work to go ahead swiftly.
Now the Department for Transport has broken its pledge for the timing of the work, we want to go back and show the Rail Minister the strength of local support - and need - for the 'Access for All' improvements to be done as speedily as possible.
That is why Labour councillors from Streatham Wells, St Leonard's and Streatham South wards - alongside Streatham's MP, Chuka Umunna - have launched this petition.
We are calling for the Department for Transport to reinstate the funding for Streatham's 'Access for All' work under the 2014-19 programme as promised. And, failing that, to commit to all the pre-construction stages being done by then, and for the work to be undertaken and completed in 2020.
Today: Streatham Labour is counting on you
Streatham Labour needs your help with “Paul Maynard MP, Minister for Rail: Restore the 'Access for All' funding for Streatham station”. Join Streatham Labour and 229 supporters today.