Kew Bridge Station To Get Step Free Access When Football Stadium Opens

Plan for development of step free access at Gunnersbury to be explored

Kew Bridge Station


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Kew Bridge Rail station will be step-free when the Brentford football stadium is opened, initially in one direction only.

The main beneficiaries in the latest round of funding are Isleworth, which will get a lift, and Syon Lane, which gets a 2.4 m programme for improvements in the near future. On the underground network, Osterley station will be upgraded to step-free access in 2019/20, and accessibility improvements to Boston Manor station are scheduled for 2023/24.

For Gunnersbury station, Hounslow Council says it is continuing to work alongside TfL, Network Rail and the owner of Chiswick Tower 'to explore how development in this area could deliver improved access from the street to the platform, including lifts'. This suggests that upgrading of facilities is quite a way off, as no feasibility study has been carried out yet.

Kew Bridge is set to benefit from accessibility improvements when the new Brentford stadium opens. The London-bound platform is to be made step free and the council is working with SWR and NR to explore how step-free access from the country-bound platform to the street can also be delivered. A feasibility study is due to progress later this year.

An outline feasibility study for Kew station had already been completed and part of the £750,000 fee for this had been set aside for 2018/2019.The station is set to see a significant increase in usage due to a very high level of development in the surrounding area, including the enabling development for Brentford Football Club’s new stadium.

Gunnersbury Station
Gunnersbury Station

The scheme at Syon Lane is being financed by a cocktail of funding streams including; Sky, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Transport for London (TfL) and a contribution from SWR themselves. The total cost is £2.4m including contingency.

The scheme at Isleworth Station is financed by Hounslow Council's successful joint bid with South Western Railway for funding through the Department for Transport (DfT) Access for All programme, to finance improved accessibility as part of the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy. Overall 73 stations have been selected to benefit from this additional £300m fund throughout the network.

The most recent bid for Chiswick Rail station was for money to pay for a feasibility study which would have cost around £100,000. The station is currently not fully accessible, with a footbridge the only way to transfer between platforms and the plan was to ensure step free access from platform to street. It was concluded last year, by a single member decision at Hounslow Council, that funding was not needed until 2021/22 and that it was more appropriate to give backing to projects that were more advanced in planning. A total of £50,000 was earmarked for a study but that is not sufficient for a wholescale feasibility project, which suggests that full accessibility for this station is a very long way off, perhaps decades.

In terms of Turnham Green station, the most recent attempt was when Cllr Andrew Steed, who represents Southfield ward, contacted the Mayor’s Office last year about the issue and he received a response saying, "Turnham Green and Chiswick Park are not currently being considered under TfL’s Step Free Access Programme. This is because they did not meet the criteria we use in order to assess which stations are the best fit for the programme. These criteria include cost or availability of third party funding, simple construction and strategic importance (for example it must serve a town centre, interchange with other transport providers or be in a location where there are currently limited accessible transport options).

"It is possible that Turnham Green and Chiswick Park may be considered for the programme at a later date if circumstances change – for example if funding became available from a third party such as a local land developer or the local authority."

Commenting on the latest round of funding, Councillor Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council said: “Hounslow Council is committed to doing all we can to encourage more people to use public transport and other sustainable modes of transport. Upgrading our stations to meet the expectations of the twenty first century commuter is a key part of our strategy to ease congestion on the roads and reduce air pollution.”

April 18, 2019

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