Stepping it up for Crystal Palace Station
An online petition started by local Councillor John Paschoud for step free access to Crystal Palace station was this week gathering momentum.
The hope is to kick-start Transport for London’s (TfL) response to enquiries about lifts, previously promised as part of the East London Line which opened last year. No work has however started on that part of the project, and station users are getting increasingly impatient.
Terri Deano, a station user, said: “I look after my wheelchair bound mum and Crystal Palace station is almost on my doorstep. But to get to Victoria I have to push her to Penge East.” She expressed frustration at the fact that not only is this a hassle, but she also has to pay more as Penge East is a Zone further out than Crystal Palace.
The old station building has six flights of stairs, posing a major challenge to anyone with mobility issues. In addition to being impossible for wheel chair users, parents face a struggle getting prams up and down the steps.
The online petition was immediately signed by local resident, Rachael Farrar, who set up a Facebook page linked to the initiative. The petition is due to be delivered to the Mayor, Boris Johnson at the London Assembly plenary meeting on 20 July.
Rachel Ferrar said: “I set the Facebook group up because I was frustrated at no longer being able to use Crystal Palace station since my son was born. I can't carry a pram up and down the stairs on my own.”
After repeated attempts, TfL was unavailable for comment.
Andy Quinn, a local resident, said that he recently heard from TfL that the works will be timed to take place at same time as the ticket hall upgrade. This is due to commence towards the end of 2011. It is however unclear whether funding has been secured.
Andy said: “It’s crucial we keep the pressure on. It’s a lot easier for TfL to quietly drop long promised upgrades at stations far from the center of town, especially now that all the hype about the East London Line has subsided.”