Ilford Recorder Column 11 July 2013

 Attitudes to disability have rightly changed massively in recent years. But too many  buildings are not user friendly for  those who are elderly, disabled or have young children.  I have been the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Crossrail Group since 2005.  Last week I tabled Early Day Motion 336 which strongly welcomes the construction of Crossrail but notes with concern that seven stations on the new Crossrail line, including Seven Kings, Manor Park, and Maryland are not planned to be step-free to platforms.   Mayor Boris Johnson assured  the London Assembly on 14 March 2012 that full disabled access will be a facility at each of the Crossrail stations in Redbridge, but so far no estimates have been made of the costs and benefits and no plans put forward by the Mayor or Transport for London (TfL) to introduce step-free access at Seven Kings station. I also raised the issue at our AGM last week with Transport Minister Stephen Hammond and Crossrail representatives.  The Government,  Network Rail and TfL must ensure that funding is made available urgently to ensure step-free access at Seven Kings.   I am hopeful for progress on this issue. 


I have been privileged to serve as the Member of Parliament for Ilford South since 1992.   I am delighted that local Labour branches and affiliated groups in the constituency have voted unanimously for me again to be the Labour candidate.  I look forward to getting the support of my constituents to continue to serve this community after 2015. 



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