An additional £200m has been pledged to boost the number of step-free stations on the Tube, work which will make the network more accessible for millions of Londoners, including those with mobility impairments and parents travelling with buggies.
The money, which was announced today by Mayor Sadiq Khan, will allow TfL to make 30 stations step-free by 2021/22, taking the percentage of accessible stations on the network from 26% to 40%.
In addition to the extra money, TfL will bring forward the delivery of step-free access at outer London stations at Harrow on the Hill and Newbury Park which together service almost 15 million journeys every year. Work at the two stations will begin next year.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “As part of making London’s transport system one of the very best in the world we must ensure it is accessible for all Londoners.
“It’s simply not right that for people with disabilities, parents with young children and many older people, many of our stations are still very difficult to use.
“I promised in my manifesto that we needed to be more ambitious with our approach to step-free access, and today I’m confirming that £200m will be invested on the Underground over the next five years.”
Today’s announcement has been welcomed by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, Caroline Pidgeon, who said: “Improvements to access on the underground is very welcome. It is encouraging that whereas Boris Johnson cancelled step-free schemes at the beginning of his office the current Mayor is bringing them forward.”
She added: “However, we should be under no illusion that this announcement alone will deliver a fully accessible London Underground.
“In addition to too few stations being step-free there are massive issues due to a myriad of problems such as platforms not being level with trains, poor signage, staff being difficult to identify and lifts suddenly being out of operation due to a lack of trained staff.”
“The Mayor needs to ensure these issues start to be fully addressed within a year, not five years.”
Full details of how the work will be funded will be revealed later this week when TfL publishes its draft business plan covering spending over the next five years.
The plan will be presented to the agency’s full board for approval next week.