Transport for London (TfL) today announced that South Woodford Tube station is now fully step-free, improving access to the transport network for thousands of people. The station serves the Central line, one of London's busiest Tube lines, and sees almost 5.3 million customer journeys each year.
South Woodford was previously only step-free for customers using the eastbound entrance for services to Epping. With the installation of a new ramp at the westbound entrance, the station has become step-free for customers travelling into central London as well. South Woodford is the 78th Underground station to become step-free and the third of five stations on the eastern section of the Central line to be made step-free in the coming years.
South Woodford station will be further improved in the coming months with the installation of better platform lighting.
Caroline Sheridan, Director of Renewals and Enhancements at London Underground, said: `South Woodford station becoming fully step-free will make a positive difference to thousands of our customers every day. We are very aware of the challenges of getting around London for those with mobility needs or with children in buggies and are working hard to make our network accessible to all. The Mayor and TfL's recent investment in increasing the number of step-free Tube stations means that more than a third of the Underground network will be step-free by 2020.'
Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: `I'm delighted this station has become step-free because it is used by so many of our residents to travel across the borough and into central London. Step-free access will hugely benefit many of our residents with mobility issues, luggage or buggies, making it much easier for them to access this station and the capital's public transport system. I'm looking forward to welcoming more step-free improvements in the coming years so that even more of our residents can get to the places they want to in the borough and beyond.'
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.
The number of step-free Tube stations on the eastern section of the Central line is increasing. Buckhurst Hill and Newbury Park Tube stations became step-free in May 2018 and November 2018 respectively. Debden and Snaresbrook Tube stations will be made step-free by spring 2020 and spring 2024 respectively.
Work is also progressing at vital interchanges including Bank, while further outer London stations such as Cockfosters, Mill Hill East and Harrow-on-the-Hill will be made step-free by 2020. This will mean that more than a third of the Tube network will be step-free by 2020.
TfL is also working to deliver further step-free stations including Boston Manor, Ruislip, North Ealing, Snaresbrook, Park Royal and Rickmansworth.
There are now more than 200 step-free stations across the TfL network. These include: 78 Tube stations, 58 Overground stations, 10 TfL Rail stations and all DLR stations and Tram stops.
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.