Mapping the Development of

Step-free Access Across

London’s Rail Network

Step-Free London

Mapping the Development of

Step-free Access Across

London’s Rail Network

London Transport Update

London Reconnections has recently come out with a comprehensive article detailing the status of various TfL-run projects. I highly recommend reading it to get a sense of how things are progressing. Here is the link:

Unfortunately, some of the recurring themes include a consistent delay in project delivery, with virtually every scheme exhibiting serious problems with sticking to deadlines, as well as the looming threat that TfL has no money to fund its ambitious plans.

For example, Holborn station will not be made step-free until 2029 while Camden Town now stands to be completed in 2026, meaning that chances for widespread new step-free access works in Central London after the Elizabeth Line and current works are complete are extremely thin. If it takes 11 years for an important station like Holborn, which has been in planning for several years, to be redeveloped, how many more years will it take to plan, fund, and deliver similar (and expensive) schemes at other important stations such as Baker Street, Leicester Square, Charing Cross and the remaining lines at Waterloo?

Despite this, it is good to see that the works at Victoria and Bank’s W&C line (both already delayed by several months), are slowly inching towards the finish line. In the case of Bank, it may actually make sense for its new entrance to open a year late by December, as that is when the new step-free entrance at Waterloo is expected to open (barring any likely delays).

One thing that was not mentioned in this article is the Mayor’s step-free station programme, which has been confirmed to have a total of 30 stations. So far, 23 stations have been announced, with the final 7 expected this summer (any day now). The programme has so far been successful, with early victories at Buckhurst Hill and advanced work at Newbury Park, but the challenge is to keep the pressure on the remaining schemes, most of which are due to start work imminently. The completion of the whole programme is expected to be 2022, so it will be interesting to see if this date slips like so many others have.

Not a whole lot of good news from this update, but the projects move on. Finally, TfL has put an incredible amount of faith on the Elizabeth Line to fix, or at least alleviate, its financial woes, so its success will be crucial for the planning and funding of ongoing and future projects. Don’t mess this up!


  1. I was at Victoria Station today and noticed the permanent hoarding protecting new Victoria Line escalators from south Ticket hall have been replaced by temporary cloth suggesting opening is not far away for these escalators and maybe lifts to Circle and District lines . In fact signs can be see for both escalators and direction to lifts for Circle, District and Victoria lines.

    Work to upgrade an old stairs from inside Victoria Station is also nearly completed but lift from Station to booking hall is still covered by hoarding.

    1. That’s great news! I was getting really annoyed about Victoria’s constant delays. Did you manage to get any pictures of these areas? I do think the internal lifts will open before the one to the railway station.

  2. Further to my earlier post I was at Victoria today and found the new escalators for Victoria Line from the south Ticket hall to lower interchange Subway are now in use operating in both directions. While not in use yet the lift next to these escalators is just protected by temporary cord .

    In addition the stairs up to the mainline station that have been closed for renovation are open . However still no sight of lift up to mainline station .

    While down on westbound Circle/ District Line platform the new stairs down to interchange subways are open and again lift exposed but not yet in use .

    Of course step free access to Circle/District Lines could be via Cardinal Place exit like On Victoria Line so let’s see if further progress over bank holiday weekend.

    1. Great update! I was also in Victoria today and managed to take a few pictures of the newly opened sections, you can check it out on my latest post. Personally, I think the lift to the mainline station will be the last to open, as I read on one of the TfL Progress reports that step-free access for all platforms from the NORTH ticket hall would be available starting this June (obviously delayed) but the whole project would not be complete until December. I would be delighted if the eastbound platform hoardings also went down this weekend.

  3. As I mentioned in the Victoria Station article the hoarding on eastbound platform is still in place .

    I was at Waterloo Station today and it looks like the York Road entrance to Underground is approaching as it has gained full name and a glass section of roofing outside to protect passengers from rain entering and leaving the station .

    Work has also begun to reconnect the Mainline station with closure of the highwalk from Waterloo Station across York Road to new building underway with a new entrance at 1st floor level . This means entrance /exit 6 to Waterloo Station is closed until October.

    Plans I have read on this entrance only mentioned installation of a middle escalator in place of fixed stairs and so even if a lift is included from high walk to booking office/Street level none to platforms below seem to have been included.

    A missed opportunity by former Mayor Boris Johnson given its Canary Wharf Group development with their good record of accessibllity .

  4. News in Evening Standard and its site under London that Mayor Khan has approved a development at Notting Hill Gate which includes step free access at the station but does not state whether it’s just Circle/District lines or includes more expensive Central Line. L

    1. It is a very exciting announcement! I hope to find out more soon. Hopefully it won’t be like Holborn’s plans and take until 2029!

    1. I did see this article last week. Apparently, according to a source, the newspaper got the date wrong and the stations will open during Winter 2018. If you see my latest post, Gidea Park is practically finished, so I would think that it will not be too long before we see it open.

  5. TFL page in London Metro newspaper last Friday reported that work was to begin on Saturday on conversation of westbound platform entrance at South Woodford Station to provide step free access via a ramp making station fully accessible from Summer 2019 .

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