Caroline Pidgeon, the newly-selected Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, and Ben Maitland, the Party’s candidate for the forthcoming council election in South Camberwell, have joined forces to call for an urgent acceleration of plans to renovate Peckham Rye station and improve access for people with mobility needs.

Peckham Rye is one of the busiest and most important transport links in South East London, but has been allowed to remain in an increasingly poor condition for a number of years.  It currently provides no access arrangements for anyone unable to use the stairs to the platform, meaning that people with mobility needs in the local area are effectively cut off from London’s rail network. This situation is compounded by the increasing pressure on buses in South East London as a result of the ongoing roadworks at Elephant and Castle.

Liberal Democrats have a strong record of fighting for improved access at stations.  The renovation programme for Peckham Rye is desperately needed now to help local people with mobility problems to be able to get around.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, said:

“As a mother, I know only too well just how unsuitable the access arrangements at Peckham Rye are. To reach any of the platforms, you have to climb two steep flights of stairs, which quickly becomes virtually impossible if you have any small children or a buggy with you.

“But that inconvenience pales into insignificance compared to any local people requiring disabled access facilities, who are effectively cut off from the London rail network at present. That’s simply not something we should tolerate in a modern capital city.”

Ben Maitland, Council Candidate for South Camberwell said:

“As a local resident who regularly uses Peckham Rye, I know only too well how much in need of renovation the station is. Many of the facilities aren’t good enough, but the absence of suitable access arrangements for people with mobility needs simply isn’t acceptable.

“People in London rely on transport links, yet for some people in our community, accessing those links is impossible, meaning they either have to use expensive alternatives, or risk becoming increasingly cut off and disconnected. If I become councillor for South Camberwell, I will make the urgent improvement of all transport facilities – and ensuring they meet the needs of all local residents – a major priority.”

Matt Berry, a disabled local resident, said:

“I live just minutes from Peckham Rye station yet I am unable to get my wheelchair up to the platforms, so I am forced to rely on taxis to get to and from my workplace. Residents were promised these station access upgrades 4 years ago following the London riots and we are waiting in vain while proposals go round and round in committees.

“For every day this project is delayed more public money is wasted, not only on endless community consultations but on Access To Work funding for local disabled people who rely on government-subsidised private hire taxis because they cannot access public transport at Peckham Rye Station. This ongoing delay is simply unacceptable. What’s equally shameful is that the railway companies don’t even employ enough staff to man the station to help disabled travellers up and down from the platforms.”

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