On Thursday 16th May, Zac Goldsmith MP visited Kew Gardens Station and was joined by Network Rail Public Affairs Manager, Matt Brennan, Transport for London’s Area Manager, Nawal Ali, in addition to representatives from the Kew Society Nora Dennehy and former Richmond Borough Cabinet Member for Transport Stephen Speak to discuss how to make Kew Gardens station more accessible.
In April, it was announced that Kew Gardens Station had been unsuccessful in securing funding to improve the station’s accessibility in the Control Period 6, Access for All Programme. Later reports indicated that this was due to both platforms at Kew being considered to be relatively accessible already in comparison to other stations. However, the lack of step free access between the tracks remains a key issue for many commuters using Kew Gardens Station.
Various options to address the issue were discussed. Although some limitations were highlighted, such as the fact that the current footbridge to cross the tracks is Grade II listed, Matt Brennan from Network Rail has said he will investigate costs for the options that were looked at.
Zac commented that: “Although I was pleased that Barnes Station was allocated for funding, it was disappointing that Kew Gardens was not. I understand that there are other stations that are even more unaccessible, but in this day and age it is simply not right that some important public transport options remain out of reach for mobility-impaired people. One way or another that will have to change and I will apply all the pressure I can.”