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Plans to build lifts at Elstree and Borehamwood Station pushed back seven months, say Network Rail
Plans to build lifts at Elstree and Borehamwood Station have been pushed back by seven months.
Network Rail had originally planned to start building new lifts in September 2012 – but problems with where to place the crane has delayed the start date until March 2013.
The firm, along with First Capital Connect, agreed to build the £3,500,000 lifts after Benjamin Marks, 20, was initially banned from boarding a train because he is in a wheelchair.
His mother, Erica Marks, of Beech Drive, Borehamwood, was disappointed with the delay.
She said: “It is unacceptable would have hoped that having made a commitment, they would have stuck to it.
“I hope they do not keep dragging this on and delaying it even more. It seems that deadlines are very fluid to these people.
“Surely they should have realised where the crane should have been placed in the first place, it is their area of expertise after all.
“It is also very unimpressive that they did not even have the courtesy to tell us about the delay via a public notice. That is very poor.”
Benjamin, who cannot walk or talk, was on his way to the Olympics with his parents and his carer when an attendant told him his wheelchair posed “health and safety” problems.
But Benjamin’s dad stood up to the employee and the family were still able to enjoy their Olympic day out – but said the experience was a horrible start to the day.
Engineers building the lifts were originally going to place the crane outside the flats in Shenley Road, opposite the station, but residents said this would be too disruptive.
As a result of these concerns, Network Rail decided to put the crane in the station car park every Saturday evening to ensure no disruption to travellers, buses and residents.
Larry Heyman, a manager at FCC, said: “I can totally understand where Mrs Marks is coming from, but we have to take the residents’ concerns very seriously.
“I can assure you work is still going ahead – we are very much looking forward to its completion.”
The upgrade, which includes a new footbridge and three lifts, has been funded by the Department for Transport’s Access for All Programme.
The delay means that the lifts, which were due to be completed by June 2013, will now not be finished until the end of 2013.
A statement from Network Rail said: “The project start date has changed because we had to redesign the scheme following feedback from residents.
“We have listened to them and are revising our plans to minimise the impact of the work as much as we can.
“We are still very much committed to making these improvements once the work is complete. This takes time so has changed the project’s start date. “We are still very much committed to making these improvements.”