CAMPAIGNERS fighting a long-standing battle for disabled access at their Tube station will have to wait two more years.
Members of the Seven Kings and Newbury Park Residents Association (SKNPRA) and Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA) have been fighting for step-free access at Newbury Park station since 2013.
So they were delighted when Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan promised the project would go ahead, after his predecessor Boris Johnson dropped it in 2009 because of “funding constraints”.
SKNPRA members claim when they met him in December, Khan told them work would start and finish at the Central Line station this year.
But recently-released Transport for London (TfL) documents show it will not be completed until summer 2019.
SKNPRA chairman David Stephens said: "Basically the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, was too optimistic when he said that the lift works at Newbury Park would start and finish in 2017.
“TfL is trying to achieve step-free access at many more stations by putting out works and ordering the lifts for many stations at once, thereby making savings through economies of scale.
“Also, as the scheme proposals have changed from those in 2009 it will be necessary for TfL to obtain consent from Redbridge Council to a variation of the planning permission.
"The current draft programme, shows that there is a start on the Newbury Park site in December 2017 and a finish in Spring 2019, which is subject to change and TfL assured us that where possible earlier dates will be targeted.”
But despite the residents associations’ claims, a TfL spokesman denied a 2017 completion date was ever on the cards.
It referred to the statement it made last year, which reads: “TfL is bringing forward the much needed delivery of step-free access at outer London stations at Newbury Park and Harrow on the Hill, which together see nearly 15 million journeys every year, with work beginning in 2017.”
London Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge Cllr Keith Prince also claims the work has been delayed again.
He said: “Step-free access at Newbury Park Station is vital for many local residents, and these delays are extremely disappointing.
“The Mayor announced -to great fanfare- that this work would be completed in 2017, and only a couple months later that promise has fallen apart.”