Vince Cable MP has written to the Department for Transport asking for reassurance over further delays to the improvements at Teddington train station. He is also seeking an urgent meeting to discuss this and the inaccessibility of Hampton Wick and St Margaret’s station.
In a reply to a parliamentary question tabled by Vince Cable about the Teddington station and Access for All lift provision, Network Rail are saying that work ‘should’ be complete by March 2020. It is not clear from the response whether should is an absolute commitment or simply a hope and aspiration.
Vince Cable MP said, “March 2020 already represents a year of slippage from the original announcement made in 2014 which stated that the project would be complete by 2019. The aim of the Access for All scheme is, in the words of Network Rail “to encourage disabled people to live more mobile lives”. It is not just disabled people who are affected by this delay but anyone who finds it difficult to climb steep flights of stairs and parents with young children or buggies. The widespread expectation in Teddington was that this was going to happen very soon”.
Vince Cable and local residents are very disappointed with the delay, but are now worried that there is no absolute commitment to even deliver an accessible station by March 2020. As a result Vince Cable is seeking an urgent meeting with Transport Minister Paul Maynard, who once stood as the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Twickenham constituency.
Vince Cable added, “I would very much like to meet with Paul as a priority to seek some reassurance, to discuss the delay and its reasons as well as convey to him the concerns that are being relayed to me in some numbers by local constituents. There are also accessibility issues at Hampton Wick and St Margaret’s stations. Both have very steep stairs and absolutely no commitment to provide lifts until, if and when, Crossrail 2 comes, which at the moment won’t be until 2030. This is unacceptable and I will raise these issues with the Minister as soon as possible”.