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Step-free access work to resume for Northolt Tube station as TfL reveals work will also start on designs for North Acton

Transport for London (TfL)has confirmed that work will resume in early 2025 to make the Central Line’s Northolt Tube station step-free after it was paused due to the pandemic. TfL has also revealed that design plans will also be taking place to make North Acton step-free as well.

Along with Alperton, Arnos Grove, Burnt Oak, Eastcote, Finchley Road, Rayners Lane, West Hampstead and White City, Northolt and North Acton are part of TfL plans to grow the number of London Underground stations offering step-free access.

According to TfL, the ten stations were identified through research and feedback from campaigners on TfL’s consultation on step-free access in 2021 which saw 5,500 responses.

Previously TfL carried out design works for Northolt and Burnt Oak stations but just as construction work was about to start at Northolt to make it step-free in 2020, the pandemic struck.

TfL has now confirmed the project for Northolt will start in early 2025 following the awarding of contracts and will also see the new Superloop SL9 bus linking up Northolt to Heathrow and Harrow on the roads.  TfL says that making Northolt step-free will provide new accessible journey options for those travelling to Heathrow.

Welcoming the move by TfL for more step-free access coming to Ealing, Councillor Deirdre Costigan, Ealing Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action said: “Since 2021 Ealing Council has been pressing TfL to re-start work, stopped during Covid, to install lifts in Northolt station. So this is fantastic news that will delight local parents and disabled and older residents who will now find it much easier to use one of our busiest stations.”

Councillor Costigan added: “North Action station is also a priority for us and it’s great to see plans for lifts at this station progress to the next stage, ensuring more of our borough is accessible to all of our residents and visitors.”

Seb Dance, deputy mayor for transport said: “London’s diversity is one of its biggest strengths and the Mayor wants everyone to be able to participate in and enjoy all that our great city has to offer. The Mayor, TfL and I are determined to make London’s transport network as accessible as possible. We are committed to increasing the proportion of step-free Tube stations and I’m delighted that TfL has confirmed the next stations where work will get underway. This is just one of the ways we are working to build a better, fairer city for all Londoners.”

Alex Williams, TfL’s chief customer and strategy officer said: “I’m really pleased that we’re now able to confirm that work will resume at Northolt and that we’re starting design work at North Acton and West Hampstead as the next stations to be upgraded, building on feasibility work that started last year.”

Emma Vogelmann, policy and public affairs manager at Transport for All said: “In our latest report, we found that a lack of step-free access was the single most significant barrier for disabled Londoners using the Underground. Not only does this render whole swathes of the network unusable, but impacts our journey times, health, work, education, and more. The resumption of work to make Northolt step-free, as well as upgrades across the rest of the network, are therefore vital, and we are encouraged to see TfL continuing to work with disabled people to make the capital truly accessible for all.”

John McGeachy, campaigns manager at AgeUK London said: “Step-free stations have the ability to transform the lives of older and disabled Londoners as well as many others. We really welcome the news work will resume to make Northolt station step-free. Increasing the number of step-free stations on the Underground network will open the capital up to people that have faced too many barriers for too long.”

TfL has also said that there are additional stations that could be progressed to step-free access following initial feasibility work which include Boston Manor, North Ealing and Park Royal stations.

A TfL spokesperson previously told EALING.NEWS: “Making our transport network more accessible and inclusive is a top priority for us, as we know that a more accessible public transport network benefits everyone. We understand the importance of providing step-free access at as many stations as possible. Initial design work was completed at Boston Manor station in relation to making it step-free before the work was paused at the start of pandemic, pending further discussions about funding. The responses to our recent step-free access consultation are shaping our short-term work to improve accessibility and our long-term goals where funding is available.”

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