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TfL pledges to address lack of step-free access at Norwood Junction

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TRANSPORT for London is exploring new possible solutions to the lack of step-free access at Norwood Junction after an Advertiser campaign.

Last month, we launched Better Access for Norwood Junction, which attracted considerable support from the local community.

The station, which is used by more than 3.5 million people per year, has six active platforms but only one of them is accessible to all.

Now TfL, which has operated the station since it became part of the Overground line in 2010, has said it is looking for a solution to the problem.carrying out studies to see if the problem can be sorted.

Previously, it said it would be too difficult and expensive to reconfigure the station for accordingly to install lifts because the platforms were too narrow. It TfL even suggested told disabled passengers they should "get a bus" even if it made for a proved much longer and made their journeys more complicated journey.

However, this was based on a study by Network Rail in 2007. Now and renewed pressure has forced TfL to look at the possibility of changing the access question again.

A spokesman for TfL stressed there would be no quick changes but that if a solution is can be found then it would mean it could look at applying for funding from the Department for Transport in the future.

Greater London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton Steve O'Connell wrote to Network Rail, TfL and the DfT lobbying for a change.

He said: "It is absurd that such a strategic and well-used station has no step-free access."

Croydon Council also asked that TfL to make transforming the access at the station a priority, with council leader Tony Newman saying: "If we can land spaceships on Mars then we can improve the access at Norwood Junction."

The TfL spokesman said if it could be proved there were more people using the station and the need was greater, it would make its funding case stronger.

The Advertiser spoke not just to disabled station users who felt discriminated against but also mothers with buggies, the elderly and people with mobility problems.

According to 2012/2013 estimates, Norwood Junction was the 123rd busiest station in the country. In 2006, it was selected as one of the first stations for the Government's Access for All programme.

But soon after once Network Rail began designing the project, it was quickly scrapped as no solution could be found which would receive have received safety approval.

TfL will now look to produce a new report into the solution in the coming months. 

TfL pledges to address lack of step-free access at Norwood Junction


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