Work to add step-free access to Northolt tube station on the Central line is to resume, having been put on hold by the pandemic, but not until next year.

Since work was paused, Transport for London (TfL) has been re-analysing the design, construction and costing and says that it is now able to confirm that this scheme will go ahead, with a construction start date of early 2025 following the awarding of contracts for the next phase, completion of remaining design activities and site mobilisation.

The station has a modest ticket hall entrance on a busy road, then steps down to an island platform with trains on either side. Facilities-wise, there is a glass waiting room on the platform, in the ticket office, some toilets and a bike store.

Many other stations that add a lift from the ticket office to the platform have managed to find enough space at the end of the platform next to the stairs to squeeze a lift in, but at Northolt, the platform is too narrow for that option.

What will happen is that a new footbridge will be built next to the tube station from the ticket office to about a quarter of the way along the platform, where it will then have a lift down to the platform.

Jacobs’ concept design (from Northolt Design & Access statement 2018)

There will also be some platform humps added to the station to provide step-free access to the trains — so the station will be fully step-free from train to street.

Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “The Mayor, TfL and I are determined to make London’s transport network as accessible as possible. We are committed to increasing the proportion of step-free Tube stations and I’m delighted that TfL has confirmed the next stations where work will get underway. This is just one of the ways we are working to build a better, fairer city for all Londoners.”

One of the quirks of the station is that the railway was originally built by the Great Western Railway, so legal powers to make changes to the tube station are tied to the Great Western Railway (Ealing and Shepherd’s Bush Railway Extension) Act 1936 — and technically, TfL didn’t need planning permission to make changes to the tube station.

They did file an application though, for transparency.


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  1. Arthur Carasco says:

    Pleased about finally knowing a lift is on its way to being installed in 2025 for Northolt station-well done to all that made it happen.

  2. Basil Jet says:

    That looks very like the solution implemented at Oakwood.

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