'Give us a lift' say Amersham rail users

Campaigners gather at Amersham Station on Sunday

Campaigners gather at Amersham Station on Sunday

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

FED-UP commuters and residents called for Amersham station to be brought into the 21st century by having new lifts installed during a protest on Sunday.

Hundreds have already signed an online petition demanding step-free access is introduced to the station, which was built during the Victorian era.

And the campaign stepped up a gear this week as dozens of people gathered outside with placards calling for changes to be made.

Work to install lifts began in 2009 but the project was mothballed due to a lack of funds, and London Underground say there are currently no plans to finish what was started.

But the town's MP Cheryl Gillan, who was present at the demonstration, said: "London Underground does very well out of the people of Amersham and I think it's about time we had lifts.

"We have tremendous usage of Amersham station and it really is important we have step free access."

Passengers say it is extremely difficult for the disabled, and people with pushchairs or heavy loads, to get across the footbridge.

Mike Armstrong of the Amersham Action Group said: "We were very pleased with the turnout. We thought the presence of the people made it clear to Transport for London and Boris Johnson how we feel Amersham station is basically barred to people who are disabled. If you come from London you can't get off at Amersham because you can't get over the bridge.

"It hasn't changed since it was built - it's a 20th century facility in the 21st century. There's a real risk of serious injury on those steps - they are very steep and dangerous when wet.

"The frustrating thing is a lift was started to be built but they abandoned it and now we're still left with an inadequate station."

Gareth Powell, London Underground’s Service and Strategy Director, said: "London has one of the most accessible transport networks in the world and Transport for London is committed to further improvements including making as many stations as possible step-free.

"Funding for such schemes is limited, however, and is focused on locations where improvements benefit the greatest number of passengers.

"There are no current plans to introduce step-free access at Amersham, but we always look at how we can work with local authorities to identify whether funding opportunities from third-parties or developer contributions might exist."

To view the petition go to www.petitions24.com/ALiftForAmershamStation.

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