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Feb 12 2014

BID for Step-Free Access at Harrow on the Hill Station Back in Play

harrow_council_logoTHE bid to install step-free access at Harrow on the Hill station has received its strongest endorsement yet with the announcement of a new feasibility study jointly funded by Harrow Council, the Mayor’s Office and Transport for London.

The feasibility study is being specially set up to look at the business case for making the station accessible to all travellers. Harrow Council has already earmarked £3.1 million for the project in its forthcoming budget and the announcement of the new feasibility study brings the project a step closer.

The study will look at the business case for upgrading the station, which Harrow Council believes is vital to the success of regenerating the town centre.

The potential of Harrow as a growth area was made clear in the Mayor of London’s plan, published for consultation in January, which proposes designating Harrow and Wealdstone as an Opportunity Area. The council’s own Local Plan suggests that the area has development capacity to accommodate 2,800 new homes and to make provision for start-ups and business investment to deliver 3,000 jobs over the next 15 years.

In November last year, Harrow Council leader Susan Hall took London’s Deputy Mayor for planning, Sir Edward Lister, on a tour around Harrow on the Hill station and surrounding area to point out the potential and to press the case for modernising the site.

Cllr Hall, leader of Harrow Council, said: “We have lobbied hard for step-free access at the station for some while. The announcement of this joint business plan is the clearest evidence yet of a compelling case for it. We need to make our town centre as welcoming and accessible as possible, and the authority is prepared to up more than £3 million to make this happen. I am confident this study will bring back a positive verdict and we can press on with making this a reality.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London now has one of the most accessible public transport networks in the world and we’re continuing to invest hundreds of millions of pounds to ensure that we take it to the next level. It is therefore only right that we explore the possibility of Harrow on the Hill joining the many other step-free Tube and rail stations across the capital.”

Gareth Powell, London Underground’s Director of Strategy & Service Development said: “We look forward to working with the London Borough of Harrow on the feasibility study and welcome the funding of £3.1m that they have identified to help make the station step-free. Making Harrow-on- the-Hill station step-free would require additional finance and we’ll continue to look for extra funding sources for this and other similar schemes.”

He continued: “We are making more and more London Underground and London Overground stations step free, with 25 confirmed schemes over the next decade and we are trying to have even more accessible stations wherever possible with third party funding. This approach is already bearing fruit at Greenford and Tower Hill Underground Stations.”

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11 comments

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  1. mikebradley2013

    My wife suffers from RA and stairs are difficult for her. I remember how wonderful it was for us when we visited Vienna because the underground railway had escalators from street level. Now if London could one day achieve that….

  2. j p hobbs

    Leave plenty of room for Stealth Cameras . to catch the elderly and dissabled .

  3. sonoo malkani

    Encouraging news indeed,especially since Harrow Council has promised up to £3.1 million towards the cost.of this valuable project.Gareth Powell has already cited the positive benefits from making similar investments at Greenford and Tower Hill Underground Stations.We must convince him anyhow of the desperate need to make a very worthwhile investment,putting Harrow’s interests squarely on the map.High time we got what is richly deserved.

    Making Harrow “step-free” would be a massive help for so many members of our local community and help make our Town Centre much more compeittive and welcoming.Brent Cross is also renovating and will attract folk there if we remain stuck.

    We have a growing elderly population and young mums struggling with push-chairs ,not to mention people with disabilities of one sort or another trying hard to keep their mobility and independence.We owe it to them and to visitors form all over the country.Our borough has so many communities which visit from all over the world and spend holidays with relatives.They love shopping here.

    The Mayor of London has already helped fund the Town Centre renovations and has marked Harrow and Wealdstone out as an “Opportunity Area”Let him complete the picture by helping sort out the extremely difficult access to Harrow-on-the Hill Underground.Makes perfect sense to award funds to a very deserving area with such a prestigious image.Look at our world-renowned Schools and excellent Colleges.High time much needed improvements became a reality!We need the green signal from TFL soon.

    Keeping the heart of Harrow beating healthily is obviously most important for our social and economic growth.Harrow Council and its Leader must continue talking regularly with Transport for London and emphasise what a sizeable difference this would make to Harrow,They must keep pushing their case until Boris Johnson and Gareth Powell understand how badly we need it.This is not a luxury but a basic need and can no longer be ignored.

    The vibrancy of our Town Centre would be boosted enormously with additional monies being ear-marked for its growth in future,Of course,the successful upgrading to “step-free “access of the undergound at Harrow-on-the Hill.would have a huge positive impact .Continuing vigorously and relentlessly fighting for this basic necessity must be our priority.Best of luck Harrow Council.Fingers crossed for Harrow!

    Happy Valentine’s Day all.

  4. John Clement

    As an arthritis sufferer the stairs at Harrow on the Hill are absolute hell.Local transport authorities -especially the Chiltern Line couldn’t care less about handicapprd, disableed, or incapacitated people.Most tube stations are really bad.

  5. sonoo malkani

    As a long term sufferer of arthritis and osteoporosis which is increasing I fully empathise with John Clement.One swallows pain-killers and tries to keep going even when they no longer work.Having a less challenging way to access this important mode of transport would help enormously to get around especially when travelling to Central London for volunteering or personal works.

  6. j p hobbs

    Sonoo Malkani is your other name Hans Christian Anderson thats not the HARROW i know , i wish it were .

  7. sonoo malkani

    JP hobbs –Perhaps you should stop looking at Harrow with jaundiced eyes and look more objectively.You must have heard the story about two prisoners sitting behind bars—-“one saw the mud,the other the stars”.We have the choice to see and take life as it comes.It’s not a guaranteed rose garden.I humbly believe,in the law of life which says “We all have to learn to accept the thorns along with the beautiful roses.”.It helps to alter one’s VISION rather than try to alter the world.

  8. j p hobbs

    If the mud in Harrow gets any deeper you wont be able to see the stars ,!!!!!!!

  9. sonoo malkani

    Your vision,your choice!!An attitude of gratitude helps overcome life’s challenges,at least for ordinary mortals like me.

  10. old englishman

    we have all enjoyed the travel on london underground during our lifetime (im 70)
    the underground has been with us for 150 yrs and 90 % of the stations have stairs so that you can cross over/ Maybe someone can answer this; if the harrow stn has lifts fitted the traveller will still has to use stairs on majority of stations so how will that change
    FOOTNOTE 3 MILLION PDS FOR HARROW plus 500 stns plus BR rail stns plus DLR stns overground stations so whats the final figure ???

  11. Helen Dashwood

    Well, Boris did actually promise to make Harrow on the Hill accessible a couple of years ago!

    In 2012 Sue Anderson and myself raised the topic to ask why nothing had been done, particularly as the Olympics was coming to Wembley which is a neighbouring borough. It would’ve been a golden opportunity for Harrow to get a boost from the increased footfall of Olympics visitors to restaurants and shops.

    I do believe that all people responsible for disability services, Ministers, Councillors, Mayors, etc., should try spending a week in a wheelchair to go about their daily business and see just how different life is when you have a disability. At the very least, everyone working with the public should attend a course on disability awareness to ensure their understanding of and capability to deal with the needs of disabled people they may come into contact with!

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