London Underground's (LU's) Tower Hill station is the latest on the Tube network to become step-free, following the installation of two new lifts between the ticket halls and all three platforms.
The station, which is used by 22 million people each year, is served by the Circle and District lines. Alongside the installation of the two lifts, step-free routes have also been created between the Tube station and both Tower Gateway DLR and National Rail services at Fenchurch Street station.
This step free access scheme was part-funded through an agreement between Transport for London (TfL) and the hotel group citizenM who also constructed some of the lift infrastructure as part of their development adjacent to the station. This means that the Zone 1 station is the 68th on the Tube network to become step-free.
Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said
'Tower Hill is a busy and hugely important station on our transport network - these changes will make it accessible for the 22m people who use it every year. It's simply not right that those with disabilities, parents with buggies and or local people carrying shopping find it difficult to use stations like Tower Hill. It's also bad for local businesses and the many tourist destinations in the area.
'We're determined to make sure all Londoners can get around London safely and easily, whether allowing them to get to work, see friends and family or going out at the weekend. London's transport system must be modern, affordable, but also accessible for everyone.'
Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground, said
'These new lifts will transform accessibility at Tower Hill station, benefitting people with disabilities, families with young children and those with heavy luggage. The Tube station is the closest to some of London's biggest tourist attractions including the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, so it's a hugely welcome addition to the Capital's network of step-free stations.'
Alan Benson, Chair of Transport for All, said
'Transport for All greatly welcomes the 68th station to be made accessible in London; especially one that is so important for Londoners and visitors alike. Step free access unlocks a station and its surroundings to disabled and older people and we look forward to the opening up of more of the network over the coming years.'
Michael Levie, COO of citizenM, said
'Step-free access at the busy Tower Hill Tube station is a must and citizenM is happy and proud to have played a role in the realisation. Opening our 370 room citizenM hotel makes us now part of Tower Hill and we intent to be an active and positive neighbour.'
A wide range of improvements have been made to transform accessibility across the Capital's transport network, including the introduction of manual boarding ramps, wide aisle gates, tactile paving and raised platform sections to give level access to the train on both the London Underground and Overground. A turn-up-and-go service is also provided on both networks.
Around 40 more Underground and Overground stations will become step-free over the next decade as part of a £326m investment, which includes funding from the Mayor and London Underground. This will include major stations such as Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Vauxhall and Victoria and those delivered through the Step-Free Access Partnership Fund. All platforms and trains across the Elizabeth line will be fully accessible with step-free access and manual boarding ramps at stations where it is not possible to provide level boarding.
The number of journeys made by step-free routes each year is expected to almost treble, from 77 million now to 227 million in 2023.
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