Transport for London (TfL) has announced that Osterley Underground station on the Piccadilly line has become step-free, helping people with accessibility needs to access the station and the wider transport network.
Osterley has two new lifts and improved signage giving customers step-free access from the street to the station platforms. Alongside these upgrades, boarding ramps will continue to be available to assist customers to board or alight the train, along with tactile paving along the full length of both platforms.
The two new lifts will greatly improve access within the station for people with additional mobility needs, heavy luggage or those travelling with children in buggies. This will be especially helpful for those travelling to and from Heathrow airport on the Piccadilly line.
The completion of work at Osterley brings the total number of step-free stations on the Tube to 89 following the opening of two new step-free stations on the Northern Line Extension at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station last month. Step-free access has also been introduced this year at Underground stations at Wimbledon Park (in August), Ickenham (in June), Debden (in April) and Amersham (in February). Work is continuing on Harrow-on-the-Hill and Sudbury Hill, which are scheduled to go step-free later this year.
In addition, Ealing Broadway was made step-free in May 2021 in preparation for the Elizabeth line, and Whitechapel became step-free when the original station entrance on Whitechapel Road re-opened in August 2021.
In 2022, TfL will deliver full step-free access at Knightsbridge as part of a development scheme and Moorgate, which is already step-free to the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines via the recently opened station entrance. TfL is also progressing step-free access work that will make busy Zone 1 stations partially step-free in 2022. These are at Bank (Northern line only) and Paddington (Bakerloo line only).
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “I’m delighted that step-free access is now available at Osterley Tube station. The two new lifts will make a big difference to passengers with mobility needs and the wider public, and I’m really pleased that we are on track for Harrow-on-the-Hill and Sudbury Hill to go step-free later this year.”
Esther Sharples, London Underground’s Director of Asset Performance and Capital Delivery, said: “Osterley Tube station becoming step-free is another milestone in our pledge to make the Underground network more accessible and comes hot on the heels of two brand new step-free stations opening on the Northern Line Extension at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station last month. People with additional mobility needs as well as those with children in buggies or carrying heavy luggage can now access the Tube with greater ease at Osterley station, improving their journeys.”
Jim Foy, the National Trust’s Assistant Director of Operations for London, said: “Over the past five years we’ve worked hard towards improving our own levels of accessibly at Osterley Park and House, including the installation of wider, multi-use pathways in 2017. This means we were delighted to learn that Osterley is now a step-free station. We hope this will be of huge benefit to those travelling with access needs and allow more people to discover the nature, beauty and history available at Osterley Park and House”.
Later this year, TfL will launch a consultation to enable Londoners and disabled public transport users to give their feedback on where further step-free improvements across London could be made in the coming years, subject to available funding.
All London Underground and London Overground stations offer a Turn-up-and-go service for customers needing assistance with their journeys. Customers using this service do not need to pre-book assistance and can request help on arrival at the station. All TfL staff are trained to support and advise customers with accessibility needs so that they can complete their journeys. More information can be found on the TfL website: tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/help-from-staff
Trains, trams, buses and stations are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing protection, and the network is cleaner than it has ever been. Independent testing by Imperial College London has been carried out monthly since September 2020, taking swabs of touch points in stations, buses and air samples in ticket halls and has found no traces of coronavirus on the public transport network.
Face coverings continue to be a requirement for all customers aged 11 and over as a condition of carriage, unless an exemption applies.
Photo credit: Transport for London