Ickenham station in northwest London, on the Piccadilly and Metropolitan lines, has become the 84th station on the tube to have step-free access added to the station.
The station now has two new lifts and improved signage giving customers step-free access from the street to the station platforms. Alongside the upgrades, manual boarding ramps will still be available to assist customers to get from train to platform, as well as existing tactile paving covering the full length of both platforms.
A bit of history
Ickenham station wasn’t originally intended to exist as the railway was built without a station at Ickenham, but following lobbying, a small “halt” was opened in 1905, with sloped paths down from the road to the platforms. The current layout, as a proper, if fairly small station didn’t emerge until the 1970s when the current ticket office with covered stairs was built.
Even in the 1970s, step-free access was not considered to be that important, and it’s taken until now to find a way of adding lifts to the station.
Today it’s still the 10th quietest tube station on the TfL network.
Adding step-free access
In summary, a new street-level walkway has been built above the platforms leading to a new overbridge and two sets of lifts to each platform. The alternative, of totally rebuilding the ticket hall to include lift shafts was ruled out as too expensive for a fairly quiet station.
A new accessible car park
The station entrance is on a bridge over the railway, and although there is a large car park next to the station, it’s at track level, so people have to walk up a staircase to get to the ticket office or walk along the narrow pavement on the road bridge. As that would be less than ideal for people needing to use the lifts, the station works will also include a small car park next to the ticket hall providing three wheelchair-accessible car parking spaces. That hasn’t opened yet, but a condition of the planning approval requires it to be completed within a year of the lifts being added to the station.
Other tube stations
Work is continuing to add step-free access to Osterley, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Sudbury Hill and Wimbledon Park, all of which are scheduled to become step-free later this year.