Any more delay with the rebuilding of Ealing Broadway station will pose unacceptable risks to the travelling public, Central Ealing Neighbourhood Forum has warned.
Tony Miller, Chair of the Forum, says that the threat of yet further hold-up on the station could even mean that Elizabeth Line services to Heathrow – now scheduled for December 2019 – will be running before vital work on passenger access is finished.
Ealing Council has already warned that improvements to the public area outside cannot be completed until after the building itself is ready.
“We have been saying for years that the present entrance is dangerous, particularly for the disabled, those with luggage or with children in buggies,” said Tony. “Since 2011, just before the picture [left] was taken showing the stairs to street level, the number of people passing through the sole entrance each year has risen by 700,000. Yet despite promises to accelerate the work, no improvement has been made to what even then was a risky and unacceptable situation.”
The excuse from Network Rail for the new delay to the start of services is that there is a need for more testing time. This is not relevant to building stations, continued Tony, as no new technology is involved.
“We cannot accept a continuation of the present situation, which presents a serious risk of injury or worse to passengers, for which Network Rail will be clearly responsible”, concluded Mr Miller. “We need an immediate clear, unequivocal and irreversible commitment from the very top to start work without more procrastination.”