Council has let us down on Crossrail

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Over Christmas (yes, I know!) there has been a consultation running on the plans for the Crossrail station at Ealing Broadway. In an exercise of appalling expectation management these plans are two years late and are now presented as a fait accompli. The Crossrail Act 2008 effectively makes Crossrail its own planning authority so the current exercise doesn’t really have teeth I am afraid.

In theory the consultation closes today but the council will still record people’s comments and they will be included in the report that is considered by the planning committee in the next few weeks.

Local Conservatives very much welcome that the Government has pressed ahead with the Crossrail scheme in spite of harsh economic conditions. Now it is up to our local Council to make the most of it. In a number of ways the scheme now proposed by Crossrail for Ealing Broadway station is not good enough.

On the positive side the scheme provides twice as much space in its concourse as the existing station and will provide step free access from the street down to the platforms via lifts, primarily for the use of mobility impaired passengers.

On the negative side there will no escalators, as originally envisaged, so most people will still be using stairs to get down to the platforms unless they want to wait some time for the lifts. Also the new eastern access proposed for emergency purposes will not be available for day-to-day use which will be a lost opportunity for many Ealing residents who approach the station from the south east on foot.

This proposal does not specifically show us how the new station forecourt at Ealing Broadway will be laid out. In particular many residents will be keen to see how facilities for cars to drop off passengers are provided. It is appropriate to prioritise pedestrians and bus passengers immediately adjacent to the station entrance. It is not appropriate to banish people who are dropped by cars.

The thing that Ealing residents will notice most is the stark entrance proposed to the building. The modern, upward tilting canopy bears no relation to its surroundings. It may well succeed in signposting the Crossrail station and but it will devalue Ealing’s town centre.

To me the proposed canopy sticks out like a sore thumb. Ealing town centre’s predominantly Edwardian architecture and Haven Green require a more sympathetic solution. The station should welcome people to Ealing rather screaming “CROSSRAIL” at the top of its voice across Haven Green.

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3 Responses to Council has let us down on Crossrail

  1. Peter Hulme Cross says:

    Phil,
    The link at the beginning brings up this….

    PP/2012/5230 Application Type Full applications – Majors
    Site Address 67-75 BROADWAY WEST EALING LONDON W13 9BP
    Description Conversion of 1st floor storage space plus additional 2 storey extension to provide 60 Bedroom Hotel with retention of ground floor retail units

    which is not the Crossrail ‘consultation’.

    Having read Vols 1 and 2 of the documentation issued by Crossrail, I tried to find the Crossrail ‘Consultation’ on the Council website but failed miserably. I had to send them an email instead indicating my extreme disappointment with the proposals.

    I will not repeat these here, but can only think the Council has been ‘asleep at the wheel’ on this one. Ealing has got a very poor deal compared to some other stations on the route. There will be an increase in numbers of people using the station and these plans do not go nearly far enough to address that.

  2. Phil says:

    Peter,

    The planning site does have a nasty habit of failing. When it does it always takes you to a random application and doesn’t let you do anything else. The link works this morning.

  3. Brian Croft says:

    I think there’s too much attention being paid to what the station looks like. That, after all, is a matter of taste. What really matters is Crossrail’s total disregard for the much needed infrastructure – escalators, for instance, and such things as the urgent need to sort out the shambolic bus stop situation, ability to drop off and pick up passengers with luggage and so on……….. This is a missed opportunity of tragic dimensions. The overall Crossrail budget is enormous and it is outrageous that this budget ‘trimming’ should affect Ealing. I think the Council is powerless in as much as it can only approve or deny the proposed design. The only real power in this matter is the Mayor’s office (Boris, that is).

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