Archive for August, 2012

Greenford Station to get a Lift

Greenford Station is finally set to have a lift installed to make it more accessible for wheelchair users, older people and parents with young children.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz and Ealing Transport Users Group

The station will be the first in London to have an incline lift installed which will travel along the slope next to a new escalator that will also be installed.

Transport for London (TfL) stopped work to install a traditional vertical lift at the station in 2009 because it could not afford the estimated £10million needed. Ealing Council persuaded TfL to change its plans after carrying out research showing an incline lift could be installed for £2million.

Other improvements planned for Greenford Station include installing a new escalator in the central stairway; making the ticket machines more accessible and installing disabled toilets.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Cabinet member for Transport and Environment said: “This is fantastic news which will end years of frustration for passengers in wheelchairs by giving them step-free access to Tube and rail travel at Greenford. It will open the doors for many residents to be able to access central London for the first time without the worry of expensive taxis.

“Having helped people struggling with prams on the stairs at the station and holiday makers carrying luggage, I know that the council’s innovative and money-saving solution will benefit thousands of passengers each year.  It could transform the underground to become a far more accessible service across London.”

Cllr Mahfouz was joined at Greenford Station by local residents in support of a lift at the station, including members of Ealing Transport Users Group. (more…)

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People are advised not to touch or approach the nests of oak processionary moth (OPM) caterpillars, which have been found on a small number of oak trees in the borough.

The oak processionary moth

Working with the Forestry Commission and pest removal contractors, Ealing Council has been removing nests from oak trees throughout the summer.

OPM caterpillars, the larval stage of the insect, shed toxic white hairs that can become airborne. These tiny hairs contain a toxin that can cause an itchy rash and occasionally eye and throat irritations. Both humans and animals can be affected, with most cases occurring in the summer months.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Residents are advised to contact the Forestry Commission or the council if they spot oak processionary moth caterpillars or nests in their garden or in a public area. However, we urge people not to try to remove the nests or the caterpillars themselves. A specially trained and equipped team will remove the pests at the right time and dispose of them correctly.” (more…)

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Hot off the heals of hosting the Olympic Flame only weeks ago as tennis legend Boris Becker carried the torch from the top of Northala Fields, the Paralympic Flame will be coming this Friday.

In a free event as part of the London 2012 Festival, there will be a performance by Red Earth this Friday evening from 8pm that will light up your evening and inspire ahead of the most anticipated Paralympics in living memory.

So, if you’ve been wondering what the wooden structures on top of the mounds in Northala have all been about then make sure to come along this Friday and join in the festivities.

For more information visit

The wooden sculpture installations will be there until 27th August.

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Illustration of a HS2 train exiting a tunnel

First step: HS2 Ltd have agreed to cost out tunnelling the route through Ealing

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz and Ealing Council have welcomed news that a tunnel is being considered to reduce the impact of the High Speed 2 rail link on homes and businesses in the borough.

Alison Munro, the chief executive of HS2 Limited, has written to Ealing Council to confirm that it would carry out a study of the “current surface railway design and a tunnelled option through Ealing, including environmental impacts and cost.”

This follows calls by the council and the Ealing Anti-HS2 Group for a rethink of current proposals to run HS2 overground on tracks beside the Central line from Acton, before re-entering a tunnel just beyond Northolt.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment said: “We are delighted that HS2 has taken our concerns on board. It made no sense that HS2 should propose to tunnel elsewhere in London without doing the groundwork in Ealing to see how much it would cost or what the impact would be.

“A tunnel needs to be seriously considered and is the clear preference of residents from Northolt, Greenford, Perivale, Ealing and Acton to alleviate the serious issues they face under the current proposals.”

The study is expected to be completed later in the year and HS2 has promised to share the results with the council and members of the Northolt Community Forum.

Cllr Mahfouz added: “This is only the first step and we will keep the pressure on everyone involved.  We have clearly stated our position that the current proposals are unacceptable and we need a tunnel.”

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