More Disappointment Over Local Step Free Access

Chiswick train stations fail to get funding for upgrades

Current access to Chiswick station. Picture: Google Streetview


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The possibility of any station in the Chiswick area being fully accessible looks even more distant following the failure of an application for funds to upgrade. The setback comes just a few weeks after TfL announced that no Chiswick tube stations were included in their programme of work to increase accessibility on the network.

Bids had been made to get financial support from the Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 funds which are paid by developers as a condition of obtaining planning permission. The allocation of these funds for the current year was recently decided by a delegated member decision at Hounslow Council. Requests for funds to upgrade facilities at Chiswick and Kew Bridge station were declined.

The bid for Chiswick station was for money to pay for a feasibility study which would have cost around £100,000. The station is currently not fully accessible with a footbridge the only way to transfer between platforms and the plan would ensure step free access from platform to street. It was concluded that funding was not need until 2021/22 and that it was more appropriate to give backing to projects that were more advanced in planning even though the area had seen a high level of development and the station had experienced increased patronage as a result. £50,000 has been earmarked for a study at this point which suggests that full accessibility at the station will not happen until well into the next decade, if ever.

Kew Bridge station also failed to gain funding even though an outline feasibility study has been completed. A more detailed costing and consideration of options would have required £750,000. It was decided not to provide any funding this year but £150,000 would be set aside in each of the next two years. The station is likely to see a significant increase in usage due to a very high level of development in the surrounding area including the enabling development for Brentford Football Club’s new stadium.

The Council did decide to give half a million pounds towards a project to provide step free access at Syon Lane railway station. The total cost of the project is £2million and half of that is to be paid by Sky as part of a section 106 contribution with another £500,000 approved in principle from First Group who own the new incoming train operating company. A higher inflow of people to the station is anticipated due to developments in the area. Without such works statutory transport providers such as Network Rail/Train Operating Company may object to planning applications and block delivery. A detailed design for the project has already been completed although no date has been given for the commencement of the work.

April 8, 2018

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