Network Rail will create step-free access at four more London Overground stationsin time for the Olympics.
Camden Road, Gospel Oak, Hackney Central and Wembley Park are all having lifts installed, thanks to funding from the Department of Transport ‘Access for All’ programme.
Work began at Wembley Central this week, not only on installing lifts but extending platforms to accommodate longer trains and refurbishing the toilets to make them fully accessible in time for the Olympic visitors coming to watch Badminton and Gymnastics at Wembley Arena and football at the stadium.
Gospel Oak will be a key interchange station for people travelling to the Olympic Park next year (like Willesden Junction, which already has step-free access). Trains from Hackney Central take just 10 minutes to get to Stratford and beyond 2012, it’s also a proposed stop on the Chelsea-Hackney Crossrail 2 route.
Camden Road’s not such an obvious choice, until you think about the appalling access at Camden Tube (our hearts sank when we saw a wheelchair user being carried up the external steps there last weekend as we contemplated the jam packed ticket hall, the out of service down escalator and the rabbit warren of tunnels and steps connecting platforms underground).
Work at Camden Road and Hackney Central is expected to be completed in spring 2012, Gospel Oak in late spring 2012 and Wembley Central in summer 2012 meaning.
There should be no disruption to passenger services as a result of the construction work.
TFL are consulting on their overarching draft Accessibility Action Plan until the end of October 2011. A separate consultation on proposals for improving access to South Kensington tube station has also just opened.