Government ministers have agreed to pay £14m to make three out of London Crossrail stations step free when passenger services start in 2019.
Last month Transport for London announced that all London stations will be accessible at launch and said it was in talks with the Department for Transport to secure funding for the Langley, Taplow and Iver stations.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has now confirmed that the department will fund modifications to the stations, ensuring the entire Crossrail service is fully accessible to mobility impaired passengers.
Baroness Kramer said: “I am delighted to confirm the funding of these important accessibility improvements.
“This is another example of our commitment to build a world-class rail network that is open to all. It is only right that everyone should be able to enjoy the huge benefits that Crossrail will bring.
“Crossrail will transform travel across London and the south east, and is already creating jobs and opportunities across the country. Continuing to invest in projects like these will help us build a stronger economy and a fairer society.”
Mike Brown, TfL’s Managing Director of rail, welcomed the government’s decision, saying: “It is fantastic news that the DfT has made funding available to ensure the final 3 Crossrail stations are made accessible.
“A fully accessible transport network is a top priority for us, so we are pleased that when Crossrail is fully operational in late 2019 all 40 stations it serves will be step free, transforming how disabled people can travel in and across the city.”
The minister’s announcement was also welcomed by Transport for All which represent London’s older and disabled transport users and campaigns for accessible and inclusive services.
Spokesperson Lianna Etkind said: “This fantastic news means that disabled and older people will be able to use Crossrail with the same freedom and independence as everyone else.
“Transport for All has campaigned on this issue for over two years, and are delighted that DfT has funded a fully accessible Crossrail that London can be proud of. Making stations stepfree benefits everyone, from people with luggage or shopping to parents with buggies.
“The support that this campaign has had has been truly inspiring and we’d like to thank everyone who took action to support an accessible Crossrail, whether writing to their MP; coming to an action or raising this with their council.
“Hopefully, DfT’s decision represents a line in the sand so that never again can a new rail line be planned that is out of bounds to disabled and older people.”