Tottenham Court Road

Demand at Tottenham Court Road station is expected to increase by at least 30% once the Elizabeth line is introduced through central London in 2018.

The complex planning and engineering project to rebuild the station allows us to improve transport in the capital while keeping the station open to people travelling in and around the West End.

A public plaza outside the adjacent Centre Point building is also being created, with wider pavements, better cycling facilities and improvements to bus services.


The benefits of rebuilding Tottenham Court Road Tube station include:

  • A new, larger ticket hall
  • New entrances and a public plaza outside the Centre Point tower
  • Additional escalators
  • New access to the Northern and Central line platforms to reduce congestion
  • New Art on the Underground installations

Passengers will also benefit from safety and accessibility improvements, including:

  • New lifts to provide step-free access from street to platform
  • Tactile strips on platforms and stairs
  • Contrasting handrails to help visually impaired passengers
  • New CCTV cameras
  • Better lighting

Area improvements

A number of projects, including those led by local authorities, are either in progress or planned for the Tottenham Court Road area and the West End. These include:

  • Creating public spaces and better pedestrian routes to Covent Garden, Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury and Soho
  • Improving pedestrian access at the western end of New Oxford Street
  • Improving traffic circulation on Gower Street and Bloomsbury Street
  • Reducing street clutter
  • Better cycle routes

Some of these improvements are in the early stages of planning and will be implemented after construction at the station is complete.

Elizabeth line

The Elizabeth line will be a new railway for London and the South East that will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

It will:

  • Run through tunnels currently under construction by Crossrail Ltd.
  • Increase the Capital's rail transport capacity by 10%
  • Improve journey times
  • Reduce congestion across London's transport network

The new line will open in phases from May 2017 to December 2019.

The Tottenham Court Road station on the Elizabeth line will be a key gateway and interchange in the West End after it opens for service in 2018.

Trains will run up to every two to three minutes through central London, with journeys to Heathrow taking just under 30 minutes from Tottenham Court Road.

At Tottenham Court Road, Crossrail Ltd. is building:

  • A new western ticket hall at Dean Street
  • New platforms to access the new line's trains
  • Escalators and a lift to link the upgraded Tube station with Elizabeth line services

Read more about Crossrail Ltd's progress at Tottenham Court Road.



Travel information

Charing Cross Road traffic is diverted until late 2016 to the east of the Centre Point tower so that construction of the upgraded Tube station can proceed.

One northbound lane (for vehicles and pedestrians) on the original Charing Cross Road alignment opened in December 2014.

We are working to make sure that disruption in this very busy part of London is kept to a minimum.

Timeline of works

  • 2015: First new station entrance opens, with a second new entrance opened in December 2015
  • 2016: Tube station improvements completed
  • 2018: Elizabeth line services begin

What's ahead?

We plan to finish the roof structure for the final part of the ticket hall in 2016, as well as construct the second, smaller plaza entrance and refurbish the Dominion entrance/exit that is to be retained.

During 2015 we opened the new Oxford Street entrance and a large part of the new ticket hall. We also completed major structural work on the Central line platforms to create space for a new lift shaft and an additional staircase.

We also constructed a new 110m passageway which will eventually link to the new ticket hall, refurbished six escalators and refitted the platforms and passageways with new finishes and fixtures including lighting and CCTV.

Earlier works

Structural work for several elements of the expanded station were completed during 2013. This included the new ticket hall, the new Oxford Street entrance and the interchange with the Elizabeth line.

During 2014, work focused on fitting out the new station with, for instance, with its new mechanical and electrical equipment and surface finishes. This included:

  • All eight new escalators
  • 8,000 individual glass panels
  • 80,000 ceramic tiles
  • 327,000 metres of electrical and communications cabling
  • Five new lifts

Our principal contractor, Taylor Woodrow Bam Nuttall Joint Venture (TWBN), started the main construction work in 2010.

Surrounding area

During 2016, development of the area around the station will intensify. We plan to improve the pedestrian crossings between Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford Street and remove the diversions that have been in place since 2010.

Charing Cross Road will return to two lanes and the diversion that takes traffic east under CentrePoint will become a space for pedestrians.

Works of art

A major feature of the Tottenham Court Road upgrade is our work to preserve existing works of art while commissioning new pieces.

New artworks at the new Oxford Street entrance will be joined by new pieces in the ticket hall and plaza entrances. These will complement the iconic 1984 mosaic designs by the late Eduardo Paolozzi.

The Paolozzi mosaics are part of London Underground's heritage. We have worked closely with the Paolozzi Foundation and design and conservation professionals, plus historians and engineers, to protect and renovate them. Our plan is to keep and restore 95% of the mosaics in their original locations at the station.

Preservation of Paolozzi mosaics

Most of the mosaics have been undisturbed by the works. The mosaics on the Northern line have already been refurbished while those on Central line platforms will be cleaned and repaired in 2015.

In some areas affected by station works, sections of the original mosaics have been removed and are being replicated to the original designs. We reused the original tiles where possible or commissioned new tiles of the same colour, and made using the same process as the originals.

The large signature piece by the Oxford Street station entrance will be removed by mosaic restoration experts, and safely preserved for redisplay. We are considering the best place to relocate it.

Despite extensive research, we could not find a way to safely remove the escalator arches and keep the attached mosaics. Removing the arch tiles individually would cause extensive damage because they're set in particularly rich mortar. The decision to remove the arches was agreed with the Paolozzi Foundation in 2012.

The mosaics that we have been able to remove will be transferred to the Edinburgh College of Art for restoration. They will be carefully transported to this world-renowned art institution in Eduardo Paolozzi's home city, where he studied in 1943 and later became a visiting professor.

The University Art Collection will use the mosaics for teaching students and in conservation training, and a new undergraduate programme, Edinburgh Collections, will incorporate the Paolozzi mosaics project from the next academic year.

In the next few years, the pieces will be photographed and digitally mapped, allowing experts to virtually reconstruct the artwork before they are physically reassembled by students, researchers and ceramics conservators for public display.

The mosaics are an important part of the Tube's heritage and London Underground has worked closely with the Paolozzi Foundation, historians and design and conservation professionals, to protect and renovate them and find a fitting home for the last pieces.

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