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Research by Councillor Gary Malcolm, local transport spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, has revealed that many local transport improvements will be delayed or shelved by the Transport for London.

Details, uncovered in papers that were recently discussed by the Transport for London Finance Committee, reveal that nine tube station refurbishments have been delayed by up to two years. Chiswick Park and Turnham Green tube stations are not planned to be done soon. The redevelopment of Acton Town Tube is now on hold awaiting renegotiation.

There are many tube stations that are not suitable for those who are either disabled or infirm as well as able bodied parents who wish to travel with young children and pushchairs.

The much heralded recent revamp of Turnham Green station failed to address the issue of disabled access to the station meaning that it is impossible for a wheelchair user to commence an unaided journey on the tube network from Chiswick. The contract with the private companies responsible for upgrading the stations originally stated that Turnham Green would have disabled access by 2010.

Cllr Gary Malcolm said: “With the Mayor increasing fares above the rate of inflation, people should rightly expect run down tube stations to be spruced up. Lib Dems think that stations should be made more accessible for those who are disabled or for whatever reason find it hard to walk up stairs.”

A few weeks ago Cllr. Malcolm injured himself and was forced to use a stick when walking. This did not prevent him being pushed when trying to negotiate the stairs up to tube platfroms.

Cllr Malcolm added: “I found it difficult to get about. Lib Dems say the decision by Transport for London to significantly delay introducing lifts, ramps and other improvement for the disabled is reprehensible.”

December 13, 2004