The final milestone in the upgrade of Tottenham Court Road Underground station has been reached, with the station now providing step-free access to both the Central and Northern lines.
Tottenham Court Road becomes the 71st Tube station providing step-free access, making travel in central London easier for older and disabled people and other customers who find it difficult to use stairs or escalators. It will give a greater choice of travel options for everyone, and will directly benefit parents and carers with children and buggies.
Tottenham Court Road station has been completely modernised and expanded so that it can meet the needs of London's rapidly growing population, with new features including:
The station has also undergone significant work in preparation for the new Elizabeth line that will run through the station next year and will provide step-free access along its entire route. The expanded ticket hall and added escalators mean that the station is equipped to deal with a projected increase in demand of around 30 per cent when the Elizabeth line comes into service.
The station upgrade has been designed so that it will be able to deal with future increases in demand, such as the planned Crossrail 2 project, which includes Tottenham Court Road on its route.
Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground, said:
'Tottenham Court Road is a vital station in central London, well placed for shopping streets like Oxford Street and also vital parts of the night-time economy like theatres, clubs and hotels. This bigger and better station means that customers using the Tube and the Elizabeth line will be able to pass through the station quickly and comfortably now and in the future.
'The provision of step-free access is a particularly important milestone as it provides all of our customers access to key central London locations. When the upgrade of Bond Street Tube station is completed later this year there will be step-free access to Oxford Street from both ends, hugely increasing options for thousands of Londoners. The Mayor has made clear his intention to improve the accessibility of the Tube network and this is a hugely important part of delivering that.'
Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive of New West End Company, said:
'The introduction of step-free access at Tottenham Court Road station represents a huge leap in making the West End accessible for all. It is reassuring to see vital changes like these being made to key Tube stations in the district as the Elizabeth line gears up to bring a further 60 million people annually to the West End.
'These upgrades represent part of the West End-wide preparation for the arrival of the Elizabeth line, marking a new era not only for innovation and infrastructure, but in making sure that everyone who visits the West End can enjoy what the iconic retail destination has to offer.'
Lee Lyons, Business Improvement District Manager for The Fitzrovia Partnership, said:
'The re-development of Tottenham Court Road Tube station in preparation of the new Elizabeth line continues to go from strength to strength. We welcome the new addition of step-free access and the recent restoration of the iconic and much-loved Sir Eduardo Paolozzi mosaics. This investment is a clear demonstration of the Mayor and TfL's ambition to support and improve transport links. Tottenham Court Road station is now a striking gateway to Fitzrovia allowing improved accessibility to those living, working and visiting the area.'
As well as the capacity increases and accessibility benefits, the station environment has been improved. There is improved lighting across the station, new tactile strips on platforms and stairs, contrasting handrails to help visually impaired passengers and new CCTV cameras to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
The iconic Paolozzi mosaics on the Central and Northern line platforms and in the rotunda space have also been repaired and restored with 95 per cent of the original mosaics retained. The signature piece from the former entrance on Oxford Street has also been relocated within the station.