Latest Rail News

16.05.14

New ramps to make disabled access easier on Underground

New ‘bridge’ style boarding ramps are to be introduced at three LU stations in an effort to provide easier access for disabled customers. 

From June, the new ramps will be introduced at three Jubilee line stations – Kilburn, Stanmore and Wembley Park – making journeys at these stations ‘step-free’ from street to train, and fully accessible to wheelchair users, for the first time. These will then be introduced at further stations on the network later in the summer, following staff training. 

The new ramps have been designed to solve the problem at stations where there is a gap and step down from platform to the train. This is because traditional ramp designs are unsuitable for use in these situations. LU has developed and trialled the new design, and gained the necessary approvals from the DfT and Office of Rail Regulation, prior to the planned installation. 

The work is part of a range of improvements being delivered by the Mayor and TfL to continue to embed the legacy of accessible travel promised after the 2012 Games. Currently, LU’s programme of accessibility work uses a mix of permanent level access at new stations, permanent raised platform sections, low-floor trains and boarding ramps. By 2016 it is expected that a third of Tube platforms will have level access by one of these means, up from 15% last year. 

Gareth Powell, LU’s director of strategy and service development, said: “We’ve been using ramps to bridge the gap between platform and train since 2012, but disabled customers at some stations have missed out because traditional ramps were not designed for the unique set up at some of our stations, where there is a gap and step down from platform to train. 

“These new ramps will mean new travel options and better, more accessible journeys, for our customers.” 

Isabel Dedring, deputy Mayor for Transport, added that the innovative new design is a UK first and will make a real contribution to boosting accessibility - opening up more Tube stations to more people. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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