MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
A station intended to be a main access route for athletes and Haringey residents to the Olympic and Paralympics Games in 2012 has come under severe criticism for failing to provide adequate access for disabled users.
The southbound platform at Tottenham Hale rail station, which serves trains travelling from Stansted Airport to Stratford, only has access via steps and an escalator that is impossible for wheelchair users and passengers with walking difficulties.
Liberal Democrats are appalled that passengers with disabilities planning to travel to Stratford would have to travel on the underground – a journey that would take four times as long. Disabled users travelling from Stansted would also face problems. If they wanted to exit at Tottenham Hale station from Stansted Airport they would instead have to travel to Liverpool Street station and change to return on the opposite platform.
To coincide with today’s Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing, Liberal Democrats are demanding urgent action, and have written to Transport for London and Haringey Council to reassess disabled access at the station.
Cllr Rachel Allison, Liberal Democrat Regeneration and Enterprise Spokesperson, commented:
“The first thing international athletes competing in the 2012 Paralympics and arriving from Standsted will feel is that they are not welcome here. This is a terrible indictment of our borough and Haringey Council and Transport for London must do all they can to make improve access to this vital station.
“At present disabled users would have to take three underground trains taking forty minutes for a journey that should only take ten minutes if they had access to the platform from Stansted.”
Cllr Martin Newton, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson commented:
“Transport for London have scheduled Tottenham Hale for an accessibility make-over after the Olympics have happened. They must bring this revamp forward so that all disabled users travelling from Tottenham Hale can have easy access to the Olympic and Paralympics Games.
“With the Beijing Olympics starting now, we have exactly 4 years to get Tottenham Hale ready for the 2012 Opening Ceremony.”