A petition has been started to introduce accessible lifts at Wapping Overground station. (If the platforms are wide enough which they may not be…)
Before you go any further please click on this link http://bit.ly/Wapping-station-step-free and sign the petition.
Done that? Sure?
OK, then read on.
Here’s the text from the petition:
Petition to Introduce Accessible Lifts at Wapping Overground Station
Wapping Overground station is a key point within the TFL network as it represents the main vehicle free point on the north of the river at which people in East London can travel across the Thames (and naturally the first stop for people coming from the south). This is the only permanent option available to cross the Thames between Tower Bridge and the Greenwich foot tunnel on the Isle of Dogs.
It is used by a great number of residents, visitors and workers to get into and out of Wapping & St Katharine’s and the lack of step-free access (train platform to street level) is severely limiting the use of this station for a significant portion of our community. This makes Wapping a less open and attractive place to live and work.
During the station refurbishment completed in 2010, two emergency staircases were introduced to the ends of the platforms leading to Cinnamon Street to the North of the station, where it is possible and practical to introduce lifts from both platforms to street level.
There are a number of options available to obtain funding for the creation of lifts, but the first priority is to convince Transport for London that this is an essential facility and a priority for the Wapping Community.
While for many Wapping Overground station – and its amazing staff – are an essential part of living in E1W for others it is of no use at all.
Why? Well, when Mr. Brunel was building the first tunnel under a river anywhere ever he was more interested in getting across to the other side of the river safely than getting down to the tunnel entrance.
Hence the steps.
If you have a pram and only one child to wrangle with the staircases from the lifts to the platforms can just about be negotiated and then only if you are either (a) very brave or (b) nuts or (c) have no choice or (d) all of the above.
Other helpful passengers or station staff are pretty essential too.
Those in wheelchairs or who are just not up to using stairs are blocked from access to the platforms.
There is space for accessible lifts at the station at the far end of the platforms. We just need to convince people to get those lifts built.
However… there is a huge BUT with this idea. Thinking about it the platforms at Wapping Overground are very narrow indeed and word has it that as such they are too narrow to meet accessibility guidelines.
Can someone who actually knows what they are talking about confirm this please?
If it is not possible to install accessible lifts would it be possible to install ordinary lifts that go all the way to platform level? This would at least make it easier for people with buggies / prams and those who are little unsteady on their feet to use the station.