Transport for London has announced the opening of lifts at Finsbury Park Tube station, the first milestone in a major upgrade of the station. The new lifts will provide step-free access to the Piccadilly and Victoria lines as well as to platforms in the Network Rail station, making it easier for customers with mobility needs, buggies or heavy luggage to use the Tube.
The project to upgrade Finsbury Park will also deliver a new, larger entrance on the western part of the station which will create a new, alternative step-free route when completed. New ticket gates and a larger staircase have already been installed, making journeys quicker and more comfortable for customers using the station.
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: "The introduction of step-free access at Finsbury Park will make a big difference to the daily lives of passengers who use this busy station every year, particularly disabled people, older people and those with young children. Our transport network should be accessible to all Londoners and visitors, so I am delighted that we continue to invest record amounts to improve stations across the city."
Caroline Sheridan, Director of Renewals and Enhancements for London Underground, said: "It is vital that we continue to do as much as possible to improve the accessibility of the Tube network. Finsbury Park is one of our busiest Tube stations and a crucial interchange between two of our busiest lines, so making the station step-free will make a real, positive difference to thousands of customers every day."
The work has seen two new lift shafts dug using traditional mining techniques, with 7,500 tonnes of spoil removed - roughly equivalent to 600 New Routemaster double decker buses. Finsbury Park is the fourth busiest station outside zone 1 with over 31 million customers using the station in 2017. It provides a crucial link between north London and stations such as King's Cross St Pancras and Victoria, as well as a connection to national rail services.
Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council's executive member for environment and transport, said: "We want all public transport across Islington to be fully accessible, and welcome step-free access for Finsbury Park Tube station as good progress towards this.
"We will continue to work with the Mayor of London and Transport for London and campaign on our wider vision for all stations in Islington to be fully accessible from street to platform level, to truly bring public transport to all our residents, workers and visitors."
The improvements at Finsbury Park are the result of collaborative work between TfL and City North Finsbury Park, the developer of an adjacent mixed residential and commercial site. The site will provide shops, office space and over 300 new homes, as well as provide the new western entrance to both Goodwin Street and Wells Terrace. The new entrance will provide quicker access from the bus station at Finsbury Park to the platforms, as well as to the new commercial development.
The continued modernisation of the Tube is a key part of the Mayor's Transport Strategy to make London a greener, more accessible place. The investment in improving public transport will help reduce reliance on the car and contribute to the Mayor's target of 80 per cent of journeys made by public transport, cycling or walking by 2041
TfL has also recommended 21 London Overground and National Rail stations across London to receive Access for All funding from Government to improve connectivity for customers with accessibility needs