One of the themes of my questioning recently of the Mayor both verbally and in writing has been to ask him about his broken promises on increased accessibility of our tube system, particularly with reference to the lack of lift access at many of our tube stations.
l used two examples; the first revolved around Ealing tube stations. At last weeks plenary we had Transport for London in front of the London Assembly for questions and so I used the opportunity to highlight this issue. l commented that while it was daft to have stopped the works on lifts at Greenford station at a huge cost, it is still worth looking at some more affordable alternative proposals for lifts put forward by Cllr Bassam Mafrouz (lead Member for Transport at Ealing Council). Rather surprisingly the Mayor said he would consider them, (although his Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy did not appear appear particularly keen). Nonetheless, I hope Ealing Council can make the most of this renewed opportunity.
My second question was prompted by the West Hamstead Amenity and Transport Group (WHAT), I submitted a written question asking why there is no lift at West Hampstead tube given the works being done by Network Rail on the West Hampstead Thameslink stations? This would not only aid passengers travelling to and from airports it connects to, it would also assist disabled people and those with pushchairs. The response was a fairly standard one about the lack of funding but also made clear that for airport connections, other tube stations took priority, including Paddington (Hammersmitth & City line); Victoria (for Gatwick) and also stations at Tottenham Court Rd, Bond St and Bank.
So, although I managed to get some something from the Mayor with his promise to consider seriously the proposal from Cllr Bassam Mafrouz, I only got a rehash of policy spiel on lifts and budget prioritisation on West Hampstead, despite his acknowlement that it is a “strategic interchange” in his transport strategy.