BY YANN TEAR
Catford Station’s bid to secure vital Government funding to improve accessibility and step-free access has received backing from a local London Assembly member.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has already identified the station as one of those in urgent need of upgrades to make life easier for wheelchair users and pushchairs.
Last year, Transport Secretrary Chris Grayling pledged £300m for an Access for All programme, with funding made available for step-free improvements at selected railway stations across the UK from 2019 to 2024. The list of successful nominated stations will be announced in April.
Len Duvall, who represents Greenwich and Lewisham, is urging the government to allocate some of that cash to Catford, which could go towards the installation of lifts, new ramps and footbridges and accessible ticket gates and toilets.
“We need to do everything possible to ensure local residents with disabilities and mobility issues can access transport links across the capital,” said Mr Duvall.
“We have seen the current Mayor of London significantly boost investment in step-free access across the Tube, but there are still glaring gaps to be filled along the underground and rail networks, such as at Catford Station.
“Improving accessibility here would make a huge difference to the lives of local people, vastly improving what is usually a complicated and stressful experience for people with disabilities, the elderly, and parents with pushchairs when navigating London’s transport system.”
In a letter to Chris Grayling last November, Sadiq Khan included Catford station on a priority list of 21 stations in the Capital which he believes should receive the Access for All Funding.
“I urge the Government to take the Mayor’s recommendations on board and allocate a share of the Access for All funding to Catford station,” Mr Duvall said.
A decision on which stations get the cash will be based on how busy each station is, and the number of primary schools, GP surgeries, under-fives and pensioners are estimated to be in the catchment area.
Catford railway station, mainly used by commuters, is on the Catford loop line, between Crofton Park and Bellingham.
It is served mainly by Thameslink trains between West Hampstead Thameslink, London Blackfriars and Sevenoaks.
Passenger numbers increased to 1.22 million last year – up from 1.15m the year before – with a further 50,000 using the station to change trains.