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Islington Tribune - by PETER GRUNER
Published: 7 August 2009
Going down... but not as far as Tube platform

MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers’ money will be spent on a lift at Finsbury Park station which only goes “halfway”, it emerged this week.
Network Rail plans to start work in November-December on a £6million lift for disabled people and parents with buggies, which will go from the station’s mainline platforms to street level.
Originally, it was intended the lift should continue down to link with the Victoria and Piccadilly Underground platforms.
The rail company and Transport for London, responsible for the Tube, were to have shared the cost.
But because TfL, for the time being, has backed out of the scheme, the lift will now stop at ground level.
When TfL finally gets round to providing step-free access, it will have to build a new lift from ground level to the Underground, at a cost of about another £6million.
Islington North Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn this week described the situation as “totally crazy”.
He added: “If Network Rail and TfL worked together on this access scheme we would get a lift that goes from mainline platform to the Tube for no more than £8million.
“Obviously, the costs double mightily when you have the prospect of two lifts being built at different times.”
Mr Corbyn and London Assembly Labour member Jennette Arnold have met London Mayor Boris Johnson and urged him to “knock heads together” at TfL.
Mr Corbyn said: “TfL maintains they eventually plan a step-free access but not at the moment. We say why not do it now while they can share the costs?”
Wheelchair-user Adrian Berroll-Cox, Tory parliamentary candidate for Islington North, said that, rather than do half a job, Network Rail should wait until TfL is ready to undertake the scheme jointly.

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I FULLY support the need for a cost-effective lift from the Tube, after a great deal of experience weighed down by heavy luggage which I have had to carry to the top. Time for co-operation not mismanagement.
R. Werbner


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