Disability campaigners' torch relay protest on Crossrail access

Crossrail Crossrail will cost £14.8bn and opens in 2018

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Disability campaigners have held a protest to highlight the lack of step-free access at some Crossrail stations.

One year on from the Paralympics the activists took part in a "Legacy Torch Relay" later from some stations which will have no lift access.

The demonstration has been organised by Transport for All which says seven of the 38 stations will be affected.

Transport for London (TfL) said it is looking at ways to make these stations step-free.

'Locked out'

Protestors and Paralympic torchbearers travelled together from Hanwell, Seven Kings, Manor Park and Maryland - all Crossrail stations with no current plans for step-free access.

There was then a rally outside the Crossrail offices at Canary Wharf in east London.

"We believe that it is no longer acceptable for disabled and older people to be locked out of their local station," a Transport for All spokesman said.

"Inaccessible transport is excluding disabled people from participating fully in public life.

'Small cost'

"Estimates suggest that Crossrail could be fully accessible for as little as 0.2% of the Crossrail budget - a small cost to make this truly public transport."

TfL's Mike Brown said: "Transport for London and the Department for Transport, the joint Sponsors of the Crossrail Project, aim to make the whole Crossrail route accessible.

There is already provision for 31 of the 38 stations to have step free access and work is underway to look at practical solutions and funding options for the remaining seven."

Crossrail is due to open in 2018 and will link parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, via central London, to Essex and South East London. The cost of the project is nearly £15bn.

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