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Works on Northolt station to resume for first time since pandemic

Plans to provide step-free access at three Tube stations have been announced by Transport for London (TfL).

Works to upgrade the accessibility of Northolt station, on the Central line, which were paused due to the pandemic, will resume. Design work will also begin for similar improvements down the line at North Acton, and at West Hampstead, on the Jubilee line.

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Construction work was about to start at Northolt to make it step-free just before the pandemic hit, but a fresh analysis of its design and costing has now been completed. The works themselves will not resume however until “early 2025”, TfL said.

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The three stations set to receive step-free access were selected from a longer list of ten stations, using an approach focused on benefits, costs, funding opportunities and impact on customers. The others were Alperton, Arnos Grove, Burnt Oak, Eastcote, Finchley Road, Rayners Lane, and White City.

TfL said that it will “provide an update later this year on which of the remaining schemes will proceed to concept design”.

Alex Williams, TfL’s chief customer and strategy officer, said: “Reducing the journey time difference for those who rely on step-free access is a key goal of the mayor’s Transport Strategy.

“This will help create a fairer, more accessible and inclusive transport network, opening up more of London to everyone. We’ve been working hard to identify which Tube stations will be prioritised next for step-free access which is a critical component of delivering a more equitable customer experience for everyone who uses our services.

“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.”

TfL points out that making Northolt step-free will open up new journey options for those travelling to Heathrow Airport using the Superloop express bus service.

The plans were welcomed by the charity Age UK London. Its campaigns manager, John McGeachy, 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.”

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