Page last updated at 07:54 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 08:54 UK

New lift 'vital' for Tube station

Shepherds Bush Central line station
Shepherds Bush Central line station opened in September 2008

Disability groups have called for better access to one of west London's newest Underground stations.

There are no lifts at Shepherds Bush Central line station, which has been used by 70,000 passengers per week since opening in September 2008.

The Hammersmith and Fulham Action on Disability (Hafad) group said step-free access to stations was "essential".

Transport for London (TfL) said work to build lifts was "deferred indefinitely" as it could cost up to £100m.

The Tube station was built to coincide with the opening of nearby Westfield shopping mall last year.

'Same rights'

Hafad director Kamran Mallick said: "Step-free access to the Underground is essential if the Tube network is to truly become a public service.

"Disabled people have the same rights as other commuters yet it is seen as acceptable to continue to allow barriers to this basic freedom."

TfL said it would cost £1m to build a lift at the station but constructing the lift shafts could cost up to £100m as the site contains buried water mains, sewers, gas pipes and electricity cables.

A TfL spokeswoman said: "The project was put on hold after costs escalated significantly, due to the complex engineering challenges of the site.

"Subsequent to that, additional costs from the absorption of (failed maintenance firm) Metronet and the economic downturn have forced the indefinite deferral of a number of step-free access projects including Shepherd's Bush."

She added that step-free access was available at other Tube stations nearby.

But Hammersmith and Fulham councillor Nicholas Botterill said: "People with mobility problems, including our disabled and elderly residents and mums with push chairs, are demanding access to Shepherds Bush Central line station and we will continue to lobby TfL hard on this."



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SEE ALSO
'Slow progress' for rail access
06 Mar 09 |  London
Tube maps made for the disabled
26 Jan 09 |  London
New railway station set to open
16 Sep 08 |  London

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