Passengers fed up with Swiss Cottage Tube station
Sofia Mitra-Thakur FED-up commuters have blasted Transport for London after enduring months of misery at Swiss Cottage Tube station. Repair works have forced the closure of the downward escalator – funnelling people down a narrow staircase instead. And
FED-up commuters have blasted Transport for London after enduring months of misery at Swiss Cottage Tube station.
Repair works have forced the closure of the downward escalator - funnelling people down a narrow staircase instead.
And the chaos looks set to continue until at least September as three-month repair work begins on the second escalator in June.
Those carrying heavy objects or pushing children's prams are the most infuriated by the disruption.
Mum Eva Kusio, 35, said: "It's always a problem for me as I have to carry a pushchair and it takes a very long time to walk down the steps with it.
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"I end up being forced to use Finchley Road station instead as it has a working escalator."
Regular station user Andy Verma added: "It's very inconvenient, especially for a woman with a pram or people carrying heavy luggage. The tube fare's gone up as well - so there's no reason for them to not sort this out."
Elderly people and those with disabilities are also having difficulty getting down the staircase - with many having to use alternative methods of transport instead.
Ben Whitaker wrote to the Ham&High to say: "I know at least one elderly person with arthritic knees who, as a result, has been unable to get to work by Underground.
"She wrote to Mayor Boris Johnson a month ago asking him to investigate and get action. She has had no reply to date - not even an acknowledgement."
Even able-bodied passengers face problems, with some commuters saying the situation is becoming dangerous.
Richard Friend, 26, said: "When you're trying to walk down the steps quickly to catch a train, there are often people blocking the way as they're slowly carrying pushchairs down and you can't really push past them."
An elderly gentleman passing through the station, who asked not to be named, added: "It's a nuisance and has been going on for weeks and weeks. But that's normal for London, isn't it?"
A TfL spokeswoman said: "Tube Lines has been refurbishing the escalators at Swiss Cottage station as part of TfL's multi-billion pound investment programme to transform the tube and have taken longer than planned to finish the work.
"We have urged Tube Lines to complete the work as soon as possible and on time, on the first escalator in May.
"We have also sought assurances that work on the second escalator will start in June and be finished on schedule in September.
"The work on the escalator involves the replacement of all moving parts, including steps and handrails.
"For safety reasons much of this work can only be carried out at night.
"Additionally, a lot of the parts are very large and cannot be brought into the station during the day.