Islington Council has submitted a bid for three Islington stations to the Access for All funding pot managed by the Department for Transport: Crouch Hill, Essex Road and Drayton Park. The Access for All funding pot is designed to fund accessibility works at stations.
Tollington ward councillors Anjna Khurana, Flora Williamson and Richard Watts have been long campaigning for step free access at Crouch Hill station, and collected over 150 signatures after representations from frustrated residents who were unable to access the station.
Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn was an early supporter of step free access at Crouch Hill station, and wrote a supporting letter for the application to the Department for Transport expressing the importance of accessible transport to the local community. Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry has also supported the submission, and specifically the bid for funding for Essex Road station in her constituency.
The Department for Transport will be announcing the successful stations in April 2019.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:
“I am proud to support this application to the Department for Transport calling for funding for accessibility works at Islington stations. Local residents need and deserve a transport system that is accessible to all.
“Shockingly, while there are five stations in Islington with step-free facilities, only one station is fully accessible (Caledonian Road station). This is unacceptable for local people, and I am very concerned that anyone would be unable to access education and work, attend medical appointments or visit loved ones because of a lack of accessible stations.
“In our bold 2018 manifesto, Islington Labour committed to make Islington a fairer place for all. This included a specific commitment to call for plans to be developed for all TfL stations in the borough to be made fully accessible through step-free access. I am very pleased to be taking this commitment forward and supporting this application in support of step free access.”
Cllr Anjna Khurana, Labour Member for Tollington Ward, said:
“I am delighted to see that Crouch Hill station has been included in this funding bid for accessibility works from Islington council. I hope our campaign with residents for step-free access at Crouch Hill, and the 150 petition signatures collected by myself and fellow Tollington ward councillors, will help make the case.
“I worry that a lack of accessible stations makes it impossible for some local residents to enjoy our wonderful borough. The situation at Crouch Hill is unacceptable, with the platform only accessible by stairs – how can disabled people, those with limited mobility or anyone travelling with luggage and young children use the station?
“As a Tollington ward resident myself with limited mobility, I know how important this campaign is to local people’s lives, and I hope the Department for Transport appreciate this when they consider the application for Access for All funding at Crouch Hill.”