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Fury as broken escalator at Highgate station leaves passengers stranded

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 December 2011 | UPDATED: 10:29 13 January 2012

The escalator at Highgate Station. Picture: Polly Hancock

The escalator at Highgate Station. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Dismayed families with buggies are being turned away from Highgate station because a broken escalator has left commuters struggling to board trains.

Fed up commuters have attacked transport chiefs for failing to fix the down escalator, which has been out of action for nearly two months, and leaving vulnerable residents without an easy route into town.

Gill Ross, a journalist who travels through Highgate station, said she is “gripped with terror” each time she tackles the steps, following a fall down an escalator at London Bridge station which cracked her head and left her with a fear of stairs.

Ms Ross, who works for The Times, said: “I am really, really nervous of stairs, so it is awful using that station.

“It seems horrendous that it can go on for so long without anyone doing anything.

“It is a very busy station and so many people will be having problems.”

The journalist also criticised a sign outside the station telling parents with buggies to get a bus to Archway and a train from there, instead of braving the 100 steps leading to the Highgate platforms while carrying their children.

She said “That is just so unhelpful - as if getting on a bus is easy when you have a buggy.

“I have seen so many people struggling down there. They are elderly and cannot cope. Getting on a bus and going to another Tube station just isn’t an option for them.”

Highgate station is on the Northern line - London’s deepest tube route - and there is no lift to platforms.

Despite the escalator being out of use for two months, commuters have not been given any indication of when it will be fixed.

Chris Buckland, a retired journalist who lives in Wood Lane, Highgate, said: “For a lot of people it is very frightening.

“It is absolutely outrageous that it has been this long and there has been no work done to it at all.

“They have just put it at the bottom of the file.”

A Transport for London spokeswoman apologised for the disruption and said: “As soon as the fault was discovered, the new gear box was commissioned and is planned to be installed and tested so that it is ready for use early in the New Year.”

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