Transport for London (TfL) has announced that a new lift at Wimbledon Park Tube station has opened, making it the 86th step-free station on the Underground network. It joins Wimbledon on the District line and Morden on the Northern line as being step-free stations in Merton, making journeys from the borough to central London more accessible, as well as improving accessibility for those who want to visit Wimbledon Park. Nearby Southfields, on the District line, is also step-free.
Wimbledon Park station is now served by one lift which provides access to the central platform for both east and westbound District line services. The line is accessible from street to platform, with boarding ramps available for use by station staff to assist customers who need them. The lift will improve access at the station for those with mobility needs, as well as those with heavy luggage or with children in buggies.
This brings the total number of London Underground stations with step-free access to 86, with stations including Ickenham and Debden having become step-free earlier this year. Work is continuing at Osterley, as well as at Harrow-on-the-Hill and Sudbury Hill, all of which are scheduled to become step-free before the end of the year. Work is continuing at Osterley, as well as at Harrow-on-the-Hill and Sudbury Hill, all of which are scheduled to become step-free before the end of the year. Whitechapel station became step-free this week as the new ticket hall opened on Whitechapel Road, following the handover from Crossrail to London Underground as part of the work ahead of the opening of the Elizabeth line.
Esther Sharples, London Underground’s Director of Asset Performance and Capital Delivery, said: “Wimbledon Park station becoming step-free is another important move to making the network as accessible as possible. Customers with disabilities, as well as those with luggage or children in buggies, can now use the station much more easily and comfortably to access Wimbledon Park itself as well as the surrounding area. Improving accessibility across London is vital, and we will continue the important work to make as many stations as possible step-free.”
Martin Whelton, Merton Council cabinet member for Housing, Regeneration, and the Climate Emergency, said: “We welcome these improvements to one of Merton’s busy underground stations that will make travel more accessible. As we recover from COVID making the most of Merton’s outstanding public transport links will be vital in helping our local economy and reducing congestion on our roads.”
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
TfL continues to operate a safe, clean and regular service across the different transport modes despite staffing challenges presented by the pandemic. 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, 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. Customers are reminded that face coverings are still required when using public transport to ensure that everyone using the network is as safe as possible.
Photo credit: Transport for London