The government has released funding to support step-free access at railway stations, but at this stage, only to evaluate the costs of adding step-free access in the future.

The opening day of step-free access at East Grinstead station in Sept 2022

The Department for Transport (DfT) says that ministers have agreed on the list of 50 additional stations selected for initial feasibility work, which, if successful, will be taken forward as part of the Access for All (AfA) programme.

The fifty stations were chosen from a submitted list of 310 stations and evaluated against several factors, including passenger use, rail priorities, local factors and location, and the support of the local MP.

(Michael Gove has been particularly active for his local station)

The availability of third party funding to contribute to the construction costs of adding lifts or footbridges as needed for each station was also a factor.

Within London, eight stations have received funding to evaluate step-free access costs:

Three are Transport for London (TfL) stations, as funding has been made available to calculate the cost of adding step-free access to Bushey and Dalston Kingsland stations on the London Overground and Gunnersbury station, which is shared by the District line and Overground.

SWR will be able to fund studies for Kew Bridge and Raynes Park stations. Southeastern can commission work for Kidbrooke and South Croydon stations, while c2c has funding for Upminster station’s platform 6.

Rest of the UK funding


  • Colchester – Greater Anglia
  • Leagrave – Thameslink
  • Wymondham – Greater Anglia

South East

  • Ash Vale – SWR
  • Battle – Southeastern
  • Esher – SWR
  • Hedge End – SWR
  • High Brooms – Southeastern
  • Marden – Southeastern
  • Maidstone West – Southeastern
  • Swanwick – SWR
  • Wivelsfield – Southern

East Midlands

  • Chinley – Northern
  • Sileby – East Midlands Railway
  • Sleaford – East Midlands Railway
  • Stamford – East Midlands Railway

North West

  • Aigburth – Merseyrail
  • Bredbury – Northern
  • Church and Oswaldtwistle – Northern
  • Flowery Field – Northern
  • Newton for Hyde – Northern
  • Port Sunlight – Merseyrail
  • Rock Ferry – Merseyrail
  • Ulverston – Northern
  • Walton – Merseyrail

South West

  • Bodmin Parkway – Great Western Railway
  • Castle Cary – Great Western Railway
  • Dorchester South – SWR
  • Stroud – Great Western Railway
  • Yeovil Junction – SWR

West Midlands

  • Dudley Port – West Midlands Railway
  • Ledbury – West Midlands Railway
  • Small Heath – West Midlands Railway
  • Whitchurch (Shropshire) – Transport for Wales

Yorkshire & Humber

  • Thirsk – TPE


  • Bellgrove – ScotRail
  • Dumbarton Central – ScotRail
  • Falkirk Grahamston – ScotRail
  • Inverurie – ScotRail


  • Neath – Transport for Wales
  • Ruabon – Transport for Wales
  • Shotton – Transport for Wales

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  1. diamond geezer says:

    Upminster’s platform 6 is only used by the Overground shuttle to Romford (the Liberty line), so is another boost for TfL. The other platforms at Upminster are already step-free.

  2. Biggles says:

    Pity no-one cares about Hackbridge station step free access takes one out to edge of bridge – it’s hopeless for cabs to stop we are poor relations yet the residency in the area has massively increased

  3. Gordon says:

    Your choice of opening image certainly got my attention – and ‘wrong line’ too! Yes, this is good news.

  4. Anna astin says:

    Only step-free f there’s a lift. The illustrated station is definitely NOT step- free

    • ianVisits says:

      East Grinstead station has TWO lifts – one on each platform.

    • Juno says:

      Looks like West Hampstead Overground, which I have to use occasionally: there’ll be a lift at each end of the bridge.

    • Jeremy says:

      The signs directing you to the lifts are clearly visible in the photo.

  5. Nathan says:

    This really is becoming an obsession!

    • Juno says:

      Not obsessive enough for me. I’m starting to think about moving because my station – in zone 2 – has lots of steps, no lifts or escalators, and my legs are failing.

  6. Southern Heights Light Railway says:

    South Croydon a Southeastern station? 😉

    It amazes me Kidbrooke is only being looked at now when it should have been done as part of the Estate’s redevelopment.

  7. Nina Soko says:

    This is good news for those selected.
    In addition to so many that have been missed out, West Hampstead TfL has remained in the past century.
    Thameslink and the Overground decided to go ahead with Step-free at West Hampstead after TfL procastinated about a 3Way Step-free access for all the three close-by stations.
    Is this n election gimm8ck to buy votes for Tories!.

    • Jack says:

      West Hampstead Jubilee line is already on TfL’s shortlist for step-free access. So it got selected earlier, if you like.

      I think there were plans to merge the 3 West Hampstead stations but they never got done because of cost.

    • ChrisC says:

      Lists like these take months to compile so isn’t any sort of election gimmick.

      Also this is just money to look at the costs to put step free access into these stations.

      There will then be a further round of bidding for theactual funds to put it in.

  8. Alfie1014 says:

    Presumably the works at Colchester are for access on the down side entrance/exit which doesn’t have lift access but is the side for the main car park, taxis and bus stops (including rail replacement). GA were due to do this in 2016 but the works never happened.

    Just an observation the East (and NE) regions seem to be under represented in this (and previous) tranches? I wonder why less enthusiasm from the NR regions/TOCs?

  9. Sean says:

    If Tfl are able to get those two Mildmay stations through then that leaves only four without step-free access on the entire line, which isn’t bad for a line with so many stations. Hopefully those gaps can be closed soon too.

    It’s a shame, and a bit puzzling, that Kew Bridge didn’t get funding from Brentford FC when they built their stadium, or indeed from any of the surrounding developers. The station is extremely busy during matchdays and I would’ve thought would be a prime step-free target given it’s now a station for events.

    • Jack says:

      Plus Brondesbury already has step-free works going on, so I think if all these stations were done that would leave 2 on the Mildmay line: Brondesbury Park and Kentish Town West. But yes agree that’s an achievement!

    • Sean says:

      In reply to Jack, there’s also Finchley Road and Frognal which still has steps so three stations would remain.

  10. anon says:

    Although it is inside the M25 and is served by London Overground trains (as well as LNWR), Bushey is decidedly in Hertfordshire, not Greater London. If the denizens of Bushey are anything like those of neighbouring Watford, I would imagine that many of them would get quite offended at being lumped-in with London (many years ago, I visited Watford on business, and spoke to a person who, when I asked him whether he lived “in London”, replied “oh no, not London; Watford” in a tone of voice that made very clear that he considered preposterous the very thought of being conflated with London).

  11. Paul says:

    Interesting to see Gunnersbury on the list; I commuted there for many years and the site is very constrained by the BSI tower and its carparks that were built on and around the original (much larger) station site. It’s also very cramped as a station with a single set of steps at the end of the platform island and a tiny ticket hall that all get congested every time a train arrives at peak times.

    One would imagine that a step free approach would need to deliver a whole new ticket hall further along the platform, with an access route somehow taking over some of the (now lightly used) car park. Either way, it would seem impossible to do anything without cooperation from the owners of the tower.

    Be very interesting to see what they come up with.

  12. dncn says:

    @Paul: Gunnersbury tower was sold recently, to be converted into “co-living” space, with the car park possibly redeveloped as affordable housing, so perhaps there’s some scope for change at station/ground level too. Agreed with you on station accessibility, it’s a heavily used station and the existing entrance/exit just can’t cope.

  13. Mac says:

    Any news on what happens to those projects announced the last time which still haven’t been progressed ?

    Hackney downs station was awarded funding for lifts to all platforms years ago and most recent updates from some mayoral questions was still no agreement from the dft on whether the funding will be carried over to deliver this much needed scheme.

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