Sudbury Hill Underground station on the Piccadilly line has become the latest tube station to go step-free, with the addition of lifts down to its platforms.
The completion of work at Sudbury Hill brings the total number of step-free stations on the Tube to 90. Alongside these upgrades, boarding ramps will continue to be available to assist customers to board or alight the train, along with tactile paving along the full length of both platforms.
To fit the lifts into the tube station, they had to make a number of changes to the Grade II listed ticket hall.
Although opened in 1903 as part of the District line, the station building was rebuilt less than 20 years later to a design by Charles Holden when it was taken over by the Picadilly line in 1932. The ticket hall is now Grade II listed.
They had initially hoped to include the lift down to Platform 2 inside the ticket hall, but the columns underneath the ticket hall were in the way, and a plan to include the lifts into the existing concrete footbridge had to be abandoned after the condition of the footbridge meant adapting it wasn’t viable.
What’s been built are two free-standing brick-clad lift shafts — one from the ticket hall down to the closest platform, and the second lift shaft at the far end of the footbridge, linked by a new connection.
However, to create space for the lift entrance inside the ticket hall down to Platform 2, they had to demolish the ticket office and staff room — although those are 1980s additions, so not a significant heritage loss, and move those facilities to other rooms in the ticket hall.
Bricks consistent with the rest of the building were used to construct the new lift shafts and a new window was specified to match the style of the existing ones.