New lifts bring step-free access to three Newham stations
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:35 07 March 2019
Transport for London
Disabled people will now be able to use stations step-free with the completion of accessibility improvements at Maryland, Manor Park Forest and Gate Seven Kings.
The new lifts at Maryland, Forest Gate and Manor Park - as well as Seven Kings - are part of wider accessibility works by Transport for London (TfL), who say that thousands of passengers will benefit from the upgrades.
The new lifts mean that 10 TfL Rail stations now have step-free access, though it’s planned that all of the 41 Elizabeth line stations will have that level of accessibility as well.
Other improvements at Manor Park include the re-opening of the Station Road entrance, a refurbished ticket hall and accessable ticket window, new ticket machines, automatic ticket gates and better information screens.
Similar improvements have come to Maryland as well, where the ticket hall has also been refurbished.
Small work like decorating and small repairs continues at both stations.
Alan Benson, chair of Transport for All, a charity championing the rights of disabled people to travel freely and independently in the capital, said: “I’m delighted these stations have become step-free, particularly as an accessible Elizabeth line is something we campaigned strongly for.”
“These improvements will transform how disabled people can travel in and across the city, and make a huge difference to those who currently struggle to use London’s public transport network.”
While the stations are now step-free, access to the trains is not.
Elizabeth line trains couldn’t be level with the platforms because of the different types of trains running through the station, including freight trains.
On-platform staff are there to help people with ramps when they need them as part of the ‘turn up and go’ service already provided on the Tube and Overground.
“These new lifts are a first for these stations and will significantly improve the journeys of thousands of customers,” said Howard Smith, TfL Rail director of operations.
“I would like to thank customers for their patience while this work has taken place and hope that making these stations more accessible will make life easier, with new journey options for many people.”
He added that upgrades, including accessibility improvements, continue across TfL as part of the Elizabeth line.
Passengers are already benefitting from new shelters at some TfL Rail stations, as well as new seating and better information screens.
There are more than 200 step-free stations in the TfL network: 77 Tube stations, 58 Overground stations, 10 TfL Rail stations and all DLR stations and Tram stops.