New MP for Putney wants step free access for busy underground station
Labour MP for Putney, Fleur Anderson, has called upon Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris to deliver step free access for East Putney tube station.
Funding constraints mean that East Putney tube station currently has staircases and no lift to access the platforms. This is despite East Putney experiencing a much higher footfall than many neighbouring stations.
East Putney has 6.18 million passengers a year. In contrast, Southfields station – which has step free access – has a footfall of 6.03 million a year, according to the latest figures. Wimbledon Park – which will become step free this summer – has a footfall of 2.18 million passengers a year.
All of the 13 stations in the current wave of step free work being undertaken by TfL have considerably fewer passengers than East Putney. As things stand, there are no plans to make East Putney step free before 2024.
Speaking in an Adjournment debate on Tuesday (10 March) in the House of Commons chamber, Ms Anderson questioned the decision to exclude East Putney from the access upgrade programme and called on the Government to increase funding to TfL.
She said, “We need a lift at East Putney tube station. It is simply unacceptable that a great many disabled and parents of small children in Putney are being denied access to the underground. We’re losing out in the postcode lottery. We cannot put a price on equality. Accessibility is fundamentally an equality issue, and Transport for London should not be forced – as they currently do – to pick and choose where and whom gets step free access. It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure inclusivity and equality is imbedded on every journey taken, and currently it is failing.”
The decision to exclude East Putney station from the step free access programme has so far been based on a variety of factors including cost, opportunity, construction challenges and strategic importance to customer benefit.
Ms Anderson called upon the Government to ask TfL to review their decision and to increase the funding available and Wandsworth Council to ensure that East Putney and other tube stations across London are not left behind.
In June 2019 the Council announced that plans to smarten up the entrance and approaches to East Putney station and potentially install lifts to the platforms had moved a step closer following talks between the council, TfL and tube bosses. The feasibility studies referred to by Cllr Ellis are we understand being under taken by TfL.
A spokesperson from the MP's office said, "Addressing Putney’s many transport issues is high on the list of Ms Anderson’s priorities following her election in December last year, having already campaigned in Parliament on funding to repair Hammersmith Bridge, opposing a third runway at Heathrow airport and the performance of South Western Railway".
The Putney Society, which promotes high standards of planning and architecture, the preservation and improvement of public amenities (e.g. buildings, open spaces, transport and community services), and areas of local interest tweeted support of a step free station:
@PutneyFleur @putneysociety supports the campaign to make busy E Putney underground step free. It has over 6m passengers pa – 3 times as many as Wimbledon Park. Step free access at E Putney would improve transport integration between Putney railway station and the tube https://t.co/YOyBdBfXqn— The Putney Society (@putneysociety) March 9, 2020
March 13, 2020