London Underground (LU) is advising customers who use Tufnell Park station that vital work to replace the station's two lifts will begin on 8 June.
The current lifts are around 40 years old and need to be replaced to ensure they work reliably - the existing lifts fail once a week on average causing unplanned travel disruption to customers. The nature of the work means that while this essential upgrade is carried out the station will be closed until mid-March 2016.
LU explored in detail the option of replacing the lifts one at a time and keeping the station open. However, this was neither the safest nor least disruptive option for customers. If only one ageing lift was in operation, the larger volume of customers using it would risk becoming trapped and unplanned station closures would increase significantly. Additionally, the total time to complete the work on both lifts will be around 9 months rather than 20 months if the lifts were replaced one at a time while keeping the station open.
Gareth Powell, LU's Director for Strategy & Service Development, said: `We're really sorry for the disruption that this work will cause customers and we're working hard to keep local businesses informed about the progress of the project moving forward. We do of course understand that this will cause disruption in the short term, but when the works are complete everyone will benefit from new, more reliable lifts.
`The lifts at the station are nearly 40 years old, are unreliable and need to be replaced. Customer safety is our number one priority and, in order for us to replace the lifts in the safest way and with the least amount of disruption for our customers, we will need to close the station. This decision has not been taken lightly and we will be working really hard to complete this vital work as quickly as possible.
`During this time customers who usually use Tufnell Park station are advised to use nearby Archway and Kentish Town Underground stations.'
Lift replacement can be a lengthy process due primarily to the bespoke nature of the restricted working space and the complexity of working Underground, in cramped lift shafts. Due to the nature of the work, replacing lifts at a station like Tufnell Park - with a single lift shaft which continues deep underground - takes a number of months.
During the period when the station is closed, customers are advised to use Archway or Kentish Town Underground stations.
From Tufnell Park Underground station, Archway Underground station is a 13-minute walk or 9-minute bus journey served by London bus routes 134 and 390.
Kentish Town Underground station is an 9-minute walk or 11-minute bus journey served by London bus route 134.
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