Accessibility campaigners have welcomed an announcement that all London Crossrail stations will offer step-free access when the rail link opens in 2019.
It had already been confirmed that 33 of Crossrail’s 40 stations would be fully accessible to mobility impaired passengers at launch.
On Wednesday the Mayor and Transport for London announced that funding had now been secured to ensure Seven Kings, Maryland, Manor Park and Hanwell stations will also be step-free from day one.
TfL is now working with the Department for Transport secure funding to bring step-free access to Taplow, Langley and Iver stations.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I have always made it clear that we must aim to make Crossrail fully step free and it is great news that we can confirm funding from TfL’s budget for all the stations within London.
“It is fantastic that the DfT have also pledged their commitment to fund the remaining three stations outside London, and I look forward to working with the Secretary of State to deliver a world class railway that is accessible for all.”
Mike Brown MVO, Managing Director of London Underground and London Rail, said: “With Crossrail we have an opportunity to imbed accessibility at the heart of the city’s transport network.
“That’s why we are funding improvements that will mean that all Crossrail stations in London are step free.
“This will transform how disabled people can travel in and across the city, and we will now continue to work with the Department for Transport to ensure that all the other stations on the route are accessible.”
Speaking for Transport for All, Lianna Etkind said: “We are thrilled by the news that Crossrail’s London stations will now be accessible – a truly public transport system. This is a Paralympic legacy London can be proud of.”
“Being able to use Crossrail isn’t just about access to transport: it’s about our ability as disabled and older people to participate in London life. 203 of London’s 270 Tube stations are out of bounds to anyone who can’t do stairs, and without transport access, we struggle to travel to work; see friends and family; and get out and about in the capital.
“Over the last two years, Transport for All members have campaigned tirelessly for Crossrail access. This is a big step forward for our ability to get out and about with the same freedom and independence as everyone else”.
The Mayor has previously confirmed that all Crossrail stations will be fully staffed during opening hours and that the network would be fully integrated into the capital’s fares system.
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly, said: “This is incredibly welcome news. Today’s announcement is long overdue – indeed it should have been a condition in legislation that every Crossrail station was fully accessible.
“However, while celebrating this development on Crossrail let us not forget for one moment that access improvements that are still desperately necessary across the London Underground.
“The rollout of lifts and step free access schemes at London Underground stations needs to be accelerated and there are many more tube stations which would benefit from mobile ramps. Real improvements are also needed in the reliability of lifts across the London Underground network.”