Paddington tube station’s new step-free access to the Bakerloo line is nearing completion and can now be seen by the public as the protective hoardings around the building site are pushed back.
The new entrance to the Bakerloo line is being provided as part of the redevelopment of the former postal sorting office that used to stand next to Paddington mainline station’s primary pedestrian (and former taxi) entrance.
Although there’s an entrance to the Bakerloo line inside the mainline station, it’s quicker and easier to use the secondary entrances that take people directly down to just the Bakerloo line. However, those were narrow, and there was no step-free access from the street to the platform.
As part of the Paddington Cube office development, a large new entrance has been built, some four times the size of the current cramped space, and will see the number of ticket barrier gates doubled to twelve. In addition to the bank of new escalators, there are lifts down to the platform level.
There is step-free access to the Bakerloo line at the moment, but only if you go in via the new Elizabeth line entrance and then walk back under Paddington station through the long tunnel linking the two lines. Realistically, for the vast majority, this new entrance will be considerably more convenient.
It will not be long until it opens to the public which is currently expected this summer.
And now a bit of a moan:
Last week, I naively shared a few photos on social media, thinking they would interest people, and unleashed a load of complaints that having escalators doesn’t make the station step-free.
If the new entrance were built without a lift, they’d be correct, but it does have a lift, and rather than asking or researching, people lept in without looking first with complaints. No one asked if there was a lift – they complained that there wasn’t one.
Just because the photo doesn’t include something doesn’t mean it’s not there, around the corner or behind the photographer. After all, I didn’t photograph the door handles, but I am pretty sure the doors come with them.
After a rather unpleasant message elsewhere accusing me of ableism etc, I deleted the photos out of sheer frustration.
So, please think before tweet.