Request ID: FOI-1838-2122 Date published: 30 November 2021
My name is XXXX, and I am a student at XXXX Law School, in New York City. I am writing a paper on the failures of the New York City subway to adapt to the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and, as part of my argument, I am planning to contrast the MTA's failures with the successes that TfL has seen in improving its accessibility infrastructure. To that end, I just have a couple of questions. First, when did TfL begin making its stations fully accessible? Second, when they did so, was that under the mandate of any sorts of laws (local, national, or other)?
TfL Ref: 1838- 2122
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 14 November 2021 asking for information about our accessible stations.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold the information you require. You asked: when did TfL begin making its stations fully accessible? Second, when they did so, was that under the mandate of any sorts of laws (local, national, or other).
Please see the list of accessible stations below with the corresponding date that they became accessible. As you will see, some of the older stations were built without steps, whilst for others, works have been carried out to make them step-free.
By way of background, since the late 1990s, the momentum to make stations as accessible as possible has grown with the opening of the Jubilee line extension, where the vast majority of the stations were built completely step-free.
Prior to that, most major station reconstruction schemes (e.g. Angel at the beginning of that decade) didn’t include step-free access, although there were some exceptions e.g. Hammersmith (District & Piccadilly lines). There were some ad hoc schemes to make stations step-free (e.g. Tottenham Hale) but otherwise almost all those made step-free this century have been done as part of major upgrades (e.g. Tottenham Court Road, Victoria), line extensions (e.g. Heathrow Terminal 5, NLE), the Government’s Public-Private Partnership initiative (e.g. Golders Green, Acton Town), 2012 Olympics enabling works (e.g Green Park, Southfields) or a dedicated Step Free Access (SFA) programme (notably all the ones delivered since 2017 or so).
It was the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 that was the momentum behind the drive to make as many stations step-free as possible. It was repealed and replaced by the Equality Act in 2010. You might also want to look at the Mayor’s Transport Strategy which is available on our website here: https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/the-mayors-transport-strategy
If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.
Sara Thomas FOI Case Management Team General Counsel Transport for London