The £300m revamp of Bond Street tube station has finally been completed — just in time for the flurry of Christmas shoppers, and ahead of the expected surge in passengers the Elizabeth line will bring.
TfL unveiled the completed station, one of the busiest in central London, on 17 November, with the upgrade increasing station capacity by 30%.
Bond Street now has a new entrance on the north side of Oxford Street at Marylebone Lane, providing step-free access for the first time at the station. It also means both ends of the shopping street are now served by step-free stations, with Tottenham Court Road having lifts too.
Initial work to build a step-free interchange to the Elizabeth line has also been completed, with services due to call at the station in December next year.
Passenger numbers are expected to rise to around 225,000 a day when the Elizabeth line is up and running. At present, more than 185,000 people use Bond Street station daily.
Bond Street is the 72nd tube station to become step-free, with the mayor aiming to get 40% of the network there by 2022.
The revamped station also now has a new ticket hall with five new gates, two new escalators and two new interchange tunnels to help ease congestion.
Mark Wild, London Underground's managing director, said:
The new, modernised Bond Street station will make journeys quicker and easier for the hundreds of thousands of people who travel through it every day. It’s fantastic to open the station in time for the Christmas shopping period, making Oxford Street more accessible to all of our customers as well as boosting businesses in the area.
The expansion of the station is another step in the investment we are making in Oxford Street and the surrounding area, with the Elizabeth Line opening next year and plans progressing on making Oxford Street one of the world’s finest public spaces.
The area is set to undergo a more radical change as progress is made on pedestrianising Oxford Street.
Earlier this month, London mayor Sadiq Khan announced plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street will get underway next year to provide a traffic-free space in central London in time for the full launch of Elizabeth line services.
East-west traffic will be restricted from entering Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus.
They will be publicly consulted on until 17 December, with a view to creating a traffic-free area in the West End by December 2018.
This article originally appeared on City AM.