'I am cut off from my family' - campaign for step free access at Mill Hill Broadway station

'I am cut off from my family' - campaign for step free access at Mill Hill Broadway station

'I am cut off from my family' - campaign for step free access at Mill Hill Broadway station

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Campaigners fighting for step free access at a station say it will dramatically change the lives of its disabled users.

Mill Hill Broadway station serves a busy high street – but many say the steep steps shut them off from all the area has to offer.

Parents with pushchairs, people travelling to central London with heavy bags and wheelchair users all support the idea for a more accessible station.

Wheelchair user Sandip Sodha said: “I feel isolated and cut off from my family who live here, because using the stairs is out of the question.

“I’d love to be able to come here more often and have a normal social life with them, but it makes it very difficult.

“It would dramatically change my life and the lives of so many others, and just make things so much easier.”

Hendon MP Matthew Offord has been leading the campaign and more than 200 people have so far signed his petition.

The petition calls for a ramp to the ticket office or a lift which would take users straight onto the platform.

The station, on the Thameslink line, also takes holidaymakers carrying heavy luggage to Luton airport. Leslie Coombs, 93, of Beech Walk, said: “It’s incredibly difficult to get up and down those stairs with a walking stick.

“I support anything that’s going to have a positive effect on the area. It would help so many people.”

Mr Coombs, the vice president of the Mill Hill Preservation society, says the steps prevent him travelling further into London.

Lifts are currently being installed at Elstree & Borehamwood Station – the next stop from Mill Hill – after a long campaign.

Mill Hill councillor John Hart said: “It needs to be refurbished and we need to make it more friendly for wheelchair users and parents with prams, but we must keep its character.”

His colleague, Cllr Sury Khatri, agreed: “I’ve spoken to so many people who say this would benefit the area.”

The Times Series is awaiting comment from First Capital Connect.

Comments (22)

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6:24pm Thu 24 Apr 14

T.L. Hardiker says...

Keep its character? Which character would that be? It's a station under a motorway bridge in the corner of a bus terminus! Is it really preferable to keep this concrete carbuncle as is? It's unwelcoming and feels quite sinister around there after dark. As well as a lift, better lighting would be a sensible idea!
Keep its character? Which character would that be? It's a station under a motorway bridge in the corner of a bus terminus! Is it really preferable to keep this concrete carbuncle as is? It's unwelcoming and feels quite sinister around there after dark. As well as a lift, better lighting would be a sensible idea! T.L. Hardiker
  • Score: 14

6:40pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Natastic1 says...

This is brilliant and will make such a difference.
This is brilliant and will make such a difference. Natastic1
  • Score: 12

10:30pm Thu 24 Apr 14

nlygo says...

well the lighting has already been improved but there is always room for further improvement

although installing a lift to the ticket office is relatively straightforward, there is still the question about access to the platforms, and the current layout of the station does not lend itself to an easy solution

full lift access is required - no half-measures!
well the lighting has already been improved but there is always room for further improvement although installing a lift to the ticket office is relatively straightforward, there is still the question about access to the platforms, and the current layout of the station does not lend itself to an easy solution full lift access is required - no half-measures! nlygo
  • Score: 8

10:44pm Thu 24 Apr 14

aworrall says...

Thank you Matthew Offord for taking this forward - it's long overdue and will make such a difference to everyone in Mill Hill. It's a shame that your predecessor Andrew Dismore didn't do anything about this - I guess he was more interested in claiming expenses.
Thank you Matthew Offord for taking this forward - it's long overdue and will make such a difference to everyone in Mill Hill. It's a shame that your predecessor Andrew Dismore didn't do anything about this - I guess he was more interested in claiming expenses. aworrall
  • Score: -6

10:52pm Thu 24 Apr 14

James NW7 says...

Matthew Offord is not in the lead on this. George Jones has been working tirelessly on the campaign long before he became a UKIP candidate for Mill Hill ward in the upcoming local elections. George has been busy getting petitions signed since September so credit where credit is due please.
Matthew Offord is not in the lead on this. George Jones has been working tirelessly on the campaign long before he became a UKIP candidate for Mill Hill ward in the upcoming local elections. George has been busy getting petitions signed since September so credit where credit is due please. James NW7
  • Score: 6

11:57pm Thu 24 Apr 14

aworrall says...

I think Matthew Offord is very much in the lead on this as I see he has already raised the issue in parliament. Offord seems to have the ear of the right people in government to get this done having seen pictures of him recently with the Chancellor in Graham Park and Mill Hill and with the Prime Minister in Israel. He is the man to make this happen.
I think Matthew Offord is very much in the lead on this as I see he has already raised the issue in parliament. Offord seems to have the ear of the right people in government to get this done having seen pictures of him recently with the Chancellor in Graham Park and Mill Hill and with the Prime Minister in Israel. He is the man to make this happen. aworrall
  • Score: -8

6:49am Fri 25 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Is this the same Councillor Hart who described the parents of severely handicapped children at Mapledown School as wanting 'handouts' when they protested about budget cuts? Changed his tune hasn't he?...ah of course changes at the station wouldn't interfere with Barnet Tories paltry Council Tax bribe.
Is this the same Councillor Hart who described the parents of severely handicapped children at Mapledown School as wanting 'handouts' when they protested about budget cuts? Changed his tune hasn't he?...ah of course changes at the station wouldn't interfere with Barnet Tories paltry Council Tax bribe. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 9

9:00am Fri 25 Apr 14

MillHillian says...

"Hendon MP Matthew Offord has been leading the campaign"

Is this the same Matthew Offord who is chair of the Parliamentary Transport committee responsible for First Capital Connect???

Where As part of the Government’s Access for All scheme, Network Rail has constructed a new footbridge at Harpenden station. The new bridge has three lifts, allowing step free access to all platforms.
Also where work to construct a new footbridge with lifts at Elstree & Borehamwood station is currently in progress.

Why is Mill Hill still waiting
"Hendon MP Matthew Offord has been leading the campaign" Is this the same Matthew Offord who is chair of the Parliamentary Transport committee responsible for First Capital Connect??? Where As part of the Government’s Access for All scheme, Network Rail has constructed a new footbridge at Harpenden station. The new bridge has three lifts, allowing step free access to all platforms. Also where work to construct a new footbridge with lifts at Elstree & Borehamwood station is currently in progress. Why is Mill Hill still waiting MillHillian
  • Score: 7

9:20am Fri 25 Apr 14

Rog T says...

The Mill Hill residents association have been leading this campaign. It is outrageous that this bubch of Tory politicians have hijacked the campaign fir aphoto op. Only Sury Khatri has taken any interest previously. I attended a meeting with Matthew Offord last year and raised the issue. He said he'd discussed the issue with FCC and theyd told him it wasnt feasable. I suggested that this was incorrect and he discuss it with Richard Logue of MHRA who is also an expert on station design. Mr Offord agreed. I am very disappointed that he seems to be trying to take credit for lots of hard work by MHRA. This is typical of what such politicians do before elections. It is also disappointing to see this plethora of comments plantedby Tory interns pretending to be residents
The Mill Hill residents association have been leading this campaign. It is outrageous that this bubch of Tory politicians have hijacked the campaign fir aphoto op. Only Sury Khatri has taken any interest previously. I attended a meeting with Matthew Offord last year and raised the issue. He said he'd discussed the issue with FCC and theyd told him it wasnt feasable. I suggested that this was incorrect and he discuss it with Richard Logue of MHRA who is also an expert on station design. Mr Offord agreed. I am very disappointed that he seems to be trying to take credit for lots of hard work by MHRA. This is typical of what such politicians do before elections. It is also disappointing to see this plethora of comments plantedby Tory interns pretending to be residents Rog T
  • Score: 3

9:52am Fri 25 Apr 14

marccohen53 says...

I am not a Tory intern but Rog T you are clearly a mouthpiece for Andrew Dismore and the Labour Party.
I am not a Tory intern but Rog T you are clearly a mouthpiece for Andrew Dismore and the Labour Party. marccohen53
  • Score: -5

10:13am Fri 25 Apr 14

Rog T says...

Marccohen What utter nonsense. I am not a Labour party member and I have no association with Dismore. To claim otherwise is a lie. You clearly are an idiot as why would a Dismore spokesman praise a Tory candidate such as Sury Khatri who is a decent bloke and a good councillor. I never mentioned Dismore unless you are claiming MHRA is front for Dismore which is ridiculois. If you must write nonsense at least try and keep one foot in reality. You clearly are rather unfamiliar with Milll Hill so one has to question why you are commenting. It is clear you are unaware of MHRA unlike Cllr Khatri who regularly attends meetings
Marccohen What utter nonsense. I am not a Labour party member and I have no association with Dismore. To claim otherwise is a lie. You clearly are an idiot as why would a Dismore spokesman praise a Tory candidate such as Sury Khatri who is a decent bloke and a good councillor. I never mentioned Dismore unless you are claiming MHRA is front for Dismore which is ridiculois. If you must write nonsense at least try and keep one foot in reality. You clearly are rather unfamiliar with Milll Hill so one has to question why you are commenting. It is clear you are unaware of MHRA unlike Cllr Khatri who regularly attends meetings Rog T
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Zoe Mill Hill says...

I can clear this one up. I personally printed off the petition forms for the Mill Hill Residents' Association campaign for step free access. My company also made the Campaign Badges LAST SEPTEMBER I am sure the MHRA can produce a receipt for the cards they ordered which members hand out to commuters, including George Jones, way before he was the candidate for UKIP. Matthew Offord was informed about the MHRA's campaign and offered to hand the petition over in Parliament. So to send in a Press release to the Hendon Times claiming his lead is disingenuous to the members.
I can clear this one up. I personally printed off the petition forms for the Mill Hill Residents' Association campaign for step free access. My company also made the Campaign Badges LAST SEPTEMBER I am sure the MHRA can produce a receipt for the cards they ordered which members hand out to commuters, including George Jones, way before he was the candidate for UKIP. Matthew Offord was informed about the MHRA's campaign and offered to hand the petition over in Parliament. So to send in a Press release to the Hendon Times claiming his lead is disingenuous to the members. Zoe Mill Hill
  • Score: 11

1:53pm Fri 25 Apr 14

aworrall says...

We should welcome all the support for this irrespective of who started the campaign. I am surprised that this has taken so long and that Andrew Dismore did nothing to help with this during his 13 years in parliament - at least Offord is getting on with it.
We should welcome all the support for this irrespective of who started the campaign. I am surprised that this has taken so long and that Andrew Dismore did nothing to help with this during his 13 years in parliament - at least Offord is getting on with it. aworrall
  • Score: -4

2:31pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Richard Logue says...

The Mill Hill Residents Association started the step free access campaign back in September 2013. As Zoe says, we asked her to print off signature sheets and badges, and Paul Edwards our treasurer and I handed out campaign cards at Mill Hill Broadway. George Jones has been particularly active in getting out signatures and has handed on to me over 200 more signatures. Sury Khatri and Sian Jones have also been actively supportive and Andrew Dismore is raising the question of access with the GLA.

We particularly welcome Matthew Offord's help on this campaign as he has kindly offered to submit our petition to Parliament, and has also raised the issue of step free access in the House of Commons the very day after I asked him about this at the Mill Hill Preservation Society AGM.

So to be clear, all help from everyone regardless of politics is welcome on this issue. I would consider the issue of step free access a non-political one which has been supported by all sides regardless.

The question of "who is in the lead" is irrelevant. The question should be "who will be next to keep this issue in the public eye".
The Mill Hill Residents Association started the step free access campaign back in September 2013. As Zoe says, we asked her to print off signature sheets and badges, and Paul Edwards our treasurer and I handed out campaign cards at Mill Hill Broadway. George Jones has been particularly active in getting out signatures and has handed on to me over 200 more signatures. Sury Khatri and Sian Jones have also been actively supportive and Andrew Dismore is raising the question of access with the GLA. We particularly welcome Matthew Offord's help on this campaign as he has kindly offered to submit our petition to Parliament, and has also raised the issue of step free access in the House of Commons the very day after I asked him about this at the Mill Hill Preservation Society AGM. So to be clear, all help from everyone regardless of politics is welcome on this issue. I would consider the issue of step free access a non-political one which has been supported by all sides regardless. The question of "who is in the lead" is irrelevant. The question should be "who will be next to keep this issue in the public eye". Richard Logue
  • Score: 12

6:07pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Andrew Haynes says...

Sadly, the Times Series has once again written about a local community campaign without giving readers details of how to offer their support for the campaign. If the Times Series really wants to support the local community it should make a point of providing readers with useful and relevant information.

Since the Time Series has neglected to give full details of the campaign for step-free access to Mill Hill Broadway station, may I inform readers who wish to offer their support that they can sign a petition at http://www.matthewof
ford.co.uk/campaigns
/step-free-access-mi
ll-hill-broadway-sta
tion.

OK, so non-Tories may be unhappy that the petition is hosted on the website of Hendon’s Conservative MP. However, I personally am willing to support Mr Offord’s involvement even though I have never voted Conservative in 50 years of taking part in local elections.

I find it sickening that people are hampering the campaign by introducing bogus political issues. This issue has nothing to do with petty party politics. Contributors’ political affiliations are irrelevant. Since the campaign is clearly in the interest of the whole community, it should attract support not only from Mr Offord but also from Andrew Dismore (GLC member and prospective MP) and from all Barnet councillors (and prospective councillors) in the Mill Hill ward and the neighbouring wards. So come on! Add your names to the campaign.
Sadly, the Times Series has once again written about a local community campaign without giving readers details of how to offer their support for the campaign. If the Times Series really wants to support the local community it should make a point of providing readers with useful and relevant information. Since the Time Series has neglected to give full details of the campaign for step-free access to Mill Hill Broadway station, may I inform readers who wish to offer their support that they can sign a petition at http://www.matthewof ford.co.uk/campaigns /step-free-access-mi ll-hill-broadway-sta tion. OK, so non-Tories may be unhappy that the petition is hosted on the website of Hendon’s Conservative MP. However, I personally am willing to support Mr Offord’s involvement even though I have never voted Conservative in 50 years of taking part in local elections. I find it sickening that people are hampering the campaign by introducing bogus political issues. This issue has nothing to do with petty party politics. Contributors’ political affiliations are irrelevant. Since the campaign is clearly in the interest of the whole community, it should attract support not only from Mr Offord but also from Andrew Dismore (GLC member and prospective MP) and from all Barnet councillors (and prospective councillors) in the Mill Hill ward and the neighbouring wards. So come on! Add your names to the campaign. Andrew Haynes
  • Score: 7

6:25pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Andrew Haynes says...

Even if it is difficult to provide step-free access from Mill Hill Broadway's current main entrance (in the bus station under the M1), there is no reason why a footbridge with lifts cannot be built to give access to all four platforms from the station car park in Bunns Lane. Similar access to the platforms has already been provided further down the line at West Hampstead, and I see no reason why Mill Hill Broadway station cannot follow suit.
Even if it is difficult to provide step-free access from Mill Hill Broadway's current main entrance (in the bus station under the M1), there is no reason why a footbridge with lifts cannot be built to give access to all four platforms from the station car park in Bunns Lane. Similar access to the platforms has already been provided further down the line at West Hampstead, and I see no reason why Mill Hill Broadway station cannot follow suit. Andrew Haynes
  • Score: 8

6:55pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

John Hart was a councillor for the Mill Hill ward between 1982 and 1994 and has again been a councillor since re-election in 2006. So how come, after a total of 20 years’ supposed local service, he has so little knowledge of Mill Hill Broadway station that he wants any refurbishment of the station to “keep its character"?

If Councillor Hart had ever actually visited the station he would know that it is completely devoid of character. It is approached from the end of a drab bus station buried beneath a concrete motorway flyover. Travellers have to struggle up a dreary flight of stairs to the booking office before going down a few more stairs to an underpass and then up further stairs to reach the platforms.

If John Hart wants the station to keep its current character, he gets no vote from me.
John Hart was a councillor for the Mill Hill ward between 1982 and 1994 and has again been a councillor since re-election in 2006. So how come, after a total of 20 years’ supposed local service, he has so little knowledge of Mill Hill Broadway station that he wants any refurbishment of the station to “keep its character"? If Councillor Hart had ever actually visited the station he would know that it is completely devoid of character. It is approached from the end of a drab bus station buried beneath a concrete motorway flyover. Travellers have to struggle up a dreary flight of stairs to the booking office before going down a few more stairs to an underpass and then up further stairs to reach the platforms. If John Hart wants the station to keep its current character, he gets no vote from me. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 5

11:46pm Fri 25 Apr 14

aworrall says...

As Andrew and Richard quite rightly point out, this issue is not about party politics but getting the right thing done for Mill Hill. We should embrace any support from councillors which obviously includes John Hart.
As Andrew and Richard quite rightly point out, this issue is not about party politics but getting the right thing done for Mill Hill. We should embrace any support from councillors which obviously includes John Hart. aworrall
  • Score: -7

11:54pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Mike NW7 says...

aworrall want us to embrace John Hart? Don't encourage the old buffer or he'll be busy setting up a permanent stall on the Broadway opposite Barclays Bank...
aworrall want us to embrace John Hart? Don't encourage the old buffer or he'll be busy setting up a permanent stall on the Broadway opposite Barclays Bank... Mike NW7
  • Score: 7

4:54pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Mr. Datchery says...

marccohen53 wrote:
Dismore was too busy claiming travel expenses to bother with travel issues in Mill Hill.
You are becoming like a cracked record, to use an old expression, on this subject. If that is all you can come up with you may as well give up. By my calculation only 3% of all MPs claimed little or no expenses and many Tories were among the worst examples of those who did. The whole expenses scandal broke in the Telegraph whose owners brought one of the minor Channel Islands so as to avoid paying any taxes.
[quote][p][bold]marccohen53[/bold] wrote: Dismore was too busy claiming travel expenses to bother with travel issues in Mill Hill.[/p][/quote]You are becoming like a cracked record, to use an old expression, on this subject. If that is all you can come up with you may as well give up. By my calculation only 3% of all MPs claimed little or no expenses and many Tories were among the worst examples of those who did. The whole expenses scandal broke in the Telegraph whose owners brought one of the minor Channel Islands so as to avoid paying any taxes. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 4

6:51pm Sun 27 Apr 14

marccohen53 says...

Give up? I am still seething from the extortionate amount that Dismore claimed from the taxpayer. To add insult to injury he is seeking relection and expecting voters to trust him again.
Give up? I am still seething from the extortionate amount that Dismore claimed from the taxpayer. To add insult to injury he is seeking relection and expecting voters to trust him again. marccohen53
  • Score: -5

8:23pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Mike NW7 says...

if marccohen53 is "seething" now he'll be really seething when his Tory chums are booted out of control from the council, and he'll go ballistic when Dismore wins back his seat in 2015. It must be hard for marc being a tory activist right now, not feeling the love of the masses eh?
if marccohen53 is "seething" now he'll be really seething when his Tory chums are booted out of control from the council, and he'll go ballistic when Dismore wins back his seat in 2015. It must be hard for marc being a tory activist right now, not feeling the love of the masses eh? Mike NW7
  • Score: 5

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