Plans to make Erith Station accessible for disabled will continue
PUBLISHED: 15:29 26 April 2019
Council bosses will "follow up" on making Erith Station accessible for disabled residents, following disappointing news that TfL wouldn't foot the bill for works.
Government transport bosses revealed a list of stations earlier this month that they would pay to bring up to scratch for disabled access.
A bid to have three Bexley stations improved was rejected by TfL, leaving councillors “disappointed”.
At a council meeting last week, Labour leader Daniel Francis pressed Bexley's top councillor on what was next for Erith Station, which has been the centre of previous campaigns for better access.
Council leader Teresa O'Neill said the authority was disappointed that TfL hadn't picked the station for step free access.
The leader said: “We were disappointed as well about Erith and the other stations that we've been putting forward to get actually get access didn't.
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“It's still not there in Erith and yes we are following up on that because we were disappointed it wasn't on the list. We still recognise that that needs to be done.
“Historically it's been done on footfall and Erith didn't necessarily have the footfall that warranted it but we believe it should have and will have going forward and we will continue to follow up on it.”
It comes following a recently completed facelift at Erith Station with new trees and plants, lighting and cycle storage.
Speaking when those works were complete, Cllr Louie French, Bexley's deputy leader and cabinet member for growth, said: “Erith is one of the key locations in our ambitious growth strategy.
“We want to make the town the prosperous and forward-looking place it used to be, and we are excited about the cultural, employment and housing opportunities it could offer.”
Last year, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, Teresa Pearce, told of how she was delighted to see Erith station being considered as she had been campaigning for it to include step-free access for years.
In 2011, she wrote to then transport secretary Phillip Hammond about the lack of disability access for commuters and had urged him to take action.
She said: “For years Erith was not even considered for step-free access because it's used less than other stations. However, its inaccessibility is probably one of the reasons why.”