Crossrail has been referred to the Advertising Standards Authority after describing itself as an accessible railway.
When fully operational in 2018, Crossrail will connect 37 stations linking Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
Disability rights group Transport for All has complained to the ASA over accessibility claims in a new poster campaign because seven stations aren’t planned to have stepfree access.
The posters claim: “When Crossrail opens in 2018/2019 it will bring you a new high frequency, convenient, accessible railway.”
Transport for All, which represents older and disabled transport users, claims the posters contravene the advertising code on truthfulness.
Lianna Etkind, campaigns coordinator at Transport for All, said: “I don’t know what definition of ‘accessible’ Crossrail is using, but accessible to everyone who’s not disabled, not old, not carrying shopping, and not using a pushchair; is not accessible in the normal sense of the word.
“£16bn of public money is being spent on Crossrail, yet much of this new line will be out of bounds to disabled and older people, and a nightmare for anyone travelling with luggage or a buggy.
“We are urging Crossrail to invest in the accessibility that will benefit all of us. Public transport isn’t public until we can all use it.”
Commenting on the complaint, a spokesperson for Crossrail said said that the posters in question had been issued by Network Rail.
He added: “All new Crossrail stations in central London and Docklands will have full step-free access. Of the 37 stations that will be on the Crossrail route, six will have no step-free access, and was a decision made when the Crossrail Bill went through Parliament.
“The overwhelming majority of journeys will be fully accessible for disabled passengers or those with buggies or heavy luggage. Where step-free access has not been provided, it is because a nearby Crossrail station will be fully accessible. Network Rail and Transport for London are actively looking for additional opportunities to improve accessibility prior to the start of Crossrail services beyond the committed programme.”