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Step-free access at Harrow-on-the-Hill station could soon be a reality, says Mayor of London Boris Johnson
The Mayor of London has made a U-turn on his decision not to install step-free access at a Harrow station.
Harrow Borough Council has earmarked £3.1million for a joint feasibility study with Boris Johnson’s office and Transport for London (TfL) at Harrow-on-the-Hill station
Campaigners have been calling for lifts at the station for years - but the Mayor maintained it would not be possible due to cost.
Now a new study will look at how the station, which can only be accessed by a steep flight of stairs, could be made more accessible for all travellers.
Mr 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.”
The mayor identified Harrow as a “growth area” in a recent report, which also says 2,800 new homes and 3,000 jobs could be created in Harrow & Wealdstone in the next 15 years.
Last November, council leader Cllr Susan Hall took London’s Deputy Mayor for planning, Sir Edward Lister, on a tour around the station to make the case for modernising the site.
She 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.”
Last year, Cllr Johnson revealed the name of 28 stations that will be made step free by 2021 - but Harrow-on-the-Hill was not named on the list.
He then promised to install lifts in the station by 2031 - much to the dismay of disabled campaigners across the borough.
Harrow resident Helen Dashwood is one of the campaigners for step-free access. She said: “I am delighted by this news, but I hope he makes good on this promise.”