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How Many Step Free Stations Are There?

Step free

Step free

When the Greenford Inclinator (sorry, Incline lift) opened on the Underground network last week, the official line from the press release was that there are now 67 Underground stations now have step free access.

As accessiblity is something we’re quite keen on getting right in Station Master, we thought we’d have a quick count and check, because it felt like it might be slightly more.

Here’s what we found when looking at the official TfL Step Free Tube Map.

The Underground has 69 fully step free stations. They are:

Acton Town, Barking, Bermondsey, Blackfriars, Brixton, Canning Town, Caledonian Road, Chalfont & Latimer, Canada Water, Canary Wharf, Chesham, Chorleywood, Dagenham Heathway, Earl’s Court, East Ham, Edgware, Epping, Elm Park, Farringdon, Finchley Central, Fulham Broadway, Golders Green, Green Park, Greenford, Hainault, Hammersmith D&P, Hammersmith C&H, Harrow & Wealdstone, Hillingdon, Heathrow 123, Heathrow 4, Heathrow 5, Hounslow West, Hendon, High Barnet, Hounslow East, Kensington (Olympia), Kingsbury, Kings Cross, Kilburn, Kew Gardens, London Bridge, Morden, North Greenwich, Oakwood, Paddington, Pinner, Richmond, Roding Valley, Stanmore, Stratford, Sudbury Town, Southfields, Southwark, Tottenham Hale, Upney, Uxbridge, Waterloo (Jubilee), Upminster, Wembley Park, Wembley Central, West Finchley, Westminster, West Ham (Jubilee), Willesden Junction, Wimbledon, Woodford, Wood Lane, Woodside Park,

So that’s two more than the official TfL count of 67 – why the difference? Well, that could be because they might Hammersmith as being one station, where as we would argue that it’s two separate stations. Or consider that Waterloo is only fully step-free accessible to the Jubilee Line … hang on, there’s a strange anomalie in that due to the Jubilee Line lifts you can get to the southbound platforms step free at Waterloo Bakerloo, but all the would let you do is make a cross-platform interchange at Lambeth North, and head north up the Bakerloo and you could go to Baker Street and change to the northbound Jubilee Line, but the earliest a wheelchair users could get off the Bakerloo Line would be at Willesden Junction.

One Direction (Not the band)

One Direction (Not the band)

But that brings to our attention other stations that are like this – where you can get access to an Underground train, but admittedly (due to the configuration of a station) only in one direction. Which is the following stations:

Amersham, Barkingside, Borough, Cannon Street, Debden, Elephant & Castle, Euston Square, Liverpool Street, Rickmansworth, Ruislip, South Woodford, Theydon Bois, Waterloo (Bakerloo) West Brompton.

That’s 14 more stations, except Waterloo is a repeat of the Jubilee Line, so it adds 13 more to the total – meaning that there are 82 stations out of 270 on the Underground that have step free access, that’s 30.3%, just under a third.

Want to make things a bit more tricky to get your head around? Of course you do… The Tube Map should no longer really be called that as the real count of numbers of stations on the map is now at 408, a third of which are no longer Underground services, it has Overground, DLR and TfL Rail too. The DLR is of course totally step free from it’s construction but how is the Overground holding up?

We’ve counted 45 Overground stations that are fully accessible step-free in both directions, they are:

Anerley, Acton Central, Brockley, Bush Hill Park, Caledonian Road and Barnsbury, Camden Road, Canonbury, Cheshunt, Chingford, Clapham Junction, Carpenders Park, Crystal Palace, Dalston Junction, Denmark HIll, Edmonton Green, Euston, Emerson Park, Enfield Town, Forest Hill, Gospel Oak, Hampstead Heath, Highams Park, Highbury and Islington, Honor Oak Park, Harringay Green Lanes, Hackney Wick, Homerton, Hackney Central, Haggerston, Hoxton, Imperial Wharf, New Cross Gate, New Cross, Romford, Queens Road Peckham, Shepherds Bush, Shoreditch High Street, South Acton, Sydenham, Upper Holloway, Watford Jcn, Walthamstow Queens Road, Walthamstow Central, West Croydon.

Kew, Richmond, Olympia, West Brompton are also step free, but are shared with Underground stations, so have already been counted.



The Overground also has six stations where step-free access is available in one direction only, namely:

Kensal Rise, Headstone Lane, Hatch End, Penge West, Norwood Junction, Hackney Downs

And as it’s on the TfL services map with its 408 stations we can’t ignore the step-free TfL Rail services too, which are: Romford (also Overground), Chadwell Heath, Brentwood, Shenfield

So, in summary…

There are 69 (not 67) step-free station on the Underground. 82 if you include the the ones which have it in one direction only. Plus the Overground brings 51 more to that total, Tfl Rail adds three more, and of course don’t forget the 45 stations on the DLR, that brings our grand total up to … 99 stations out of the 408 on the map (which is 24%, call it a quarter) that have step-free access.

We’ll update this post as more get added to the network, Tower Hill and Vauxhall should be getting their lifts next …

26 Oct 15

Incline Lift

So that new ‘inclinator’ at Greenford station? Don’t call it that! Even though the one down at the Millennium Bridge is called that, this one is being called an ‘incline lift’ and is the first one ever on the Underground, and we think in fact the first at any UK railway station.

It brings the total of step-free stations on the Underground up to 67 – that’s the official total anyway, as there are 14 more stations that we can think of that have step-free access but in one direction only. And this is just Tube stations, all of the DLR is step-free of course, and there are many Overground stations too which aren’t including in that total of 67.

It’s worth nothing that the staircase and escalator are new too – not just refurbished, and even the toilets on the platform are now unisex, and accessible by wheelchair users too. It’s an all-new shiny Greenford station!



21 Oct 15

Inclinator at Greenford

And following on from yesterday, we’ve a nice swish updated map for Greenford too … which has now lost its wooden escalator (the last on the system) and has had an inclinator installed instead.  So our new 3D map reflects this.

New 3D map for Greenford

New 3D map for Greenford

19 Oct 15

Covent Garden Re-opens

We were lucky enough in the last few days to get a ride in one of the two new shiny lifts at Covent Garden.  The station has been exit only since February of this year whilst two of the lifts have been replaced, and we can now report on the new lifts!

New Covent Garden Lift

New Covent Garden Lift

We timed it, and on average the lift is about 8 seconds faster than the old ones.  Their capacity is also 56 people – six more than the 50 of the old lifts.  All this will help get more people moving.  But perhaps the smartest thing is that the doors now have intelligent software installed, meaning that they can sense if no one is getting in or out at a certain leve, and rather than lingering around for wasted time, it’ll shut the doors and whizz back up or down to collect people who may be waiting at the other level.

All in all – people should be shunted up and down more quickly than before!

The respite is only for a couple of months over the Christmas period though – come February of 2015, Covent Garden will become exit only again whilst the other two lifts are replaced, and you’ll have to wait until November of next year for the station to be fully open again.


08 Nov 14

Step-free London Bridge

We’re a bit confused about the step free arrangements at London Bridge station.  They recently finished building a new ‘side entrance’ into the station along with a shopping parade, and next to it, what must have cost a lot of money to build, an ‘S-bend’ style ramp with a wide guide .. for, wheelchair users right?  Uh, no.

Step free London Bridge

Step free London Bridge

This is the sign that greets you by the entrance to the new ramp indicating that it’s for people with luggage and pushchairs only – because there’s no lift here, only escalators.

For complete step-free access at London Bridge you have to use the entrance/exit round on Borough High Street, and here’s where we spotted something else unusual – the lifts are inside their respective gatelines – meaning that if you’re a wheelchair user changing between the Jubilee and Northern you have to exit through one gateline, and then enter back through another!

This is fine if you’re on a travelcard or Freedom pass, but if you’re on Pay As You Go Oyster (or Contactless) then it will sting you for two fares, so you have to make sure that you ask the station staff to let you out of one barrier, and back into another.

11 Oct 14

Very Accessible

Yesterday TfL ran their first ever Accessibility Exhibition down at London’s ExCeL centre, and we popped down in the afternoon to see what was on offer and catch up with some familiar faces.

Most familiar was our friend Christiane Link from Transport for All – who were all celebrating the fact that just that morning an extra £19 million had been agreed to make all Crossrail stations step free.



This is for where the new Crossrail line is taking over existing stations where there currently are no lifts, and the original plans for Crossrail did not make any provision for them.  Transport for All (amongst others) campaigned hard against this and the good news now is that all London Crossrail stations will have step-free access. (There are still three outside of London which are being negotiated).

(Read more here on Londonist)

There was also the news that another £75 million had become available to make more stations on the tube network such as Mill Hill East, Newbury Park, Osterley, West Brompton and White City accessible.

There was a whole range of information about accessible service and future transport services coming to London, something that caught our eye was the artists impression of what Greenford will look when the new inclinator is finally installed and running next year.

Greenford Inclinator

Greenford Inclinator


03 Oct 14

Race the Tube … in a wheelchair

We love this! Except … for one small caveat. Following on from Race the Tube the other week where someone ran between Mansion House and Cannon Street station and made the same train, Anthony in this video in his wheelchair attempts the same thing – the obvious thing being that the stairs make it not possible for him to make the train. Watch the video …

Except that is shows him unable to get down the stairs at Cannon Street station, for some reason avoiding the fact that he wouldn’t have been able to get out of Mansion House station in the first place where there are 24 steps up from the platform to ticket hall area, and then 24 steps again to get from the ticket hall to street level.

We know the point it’s making, but it could have been made sooner! And much more accurate if it had shown him not being able to even get out of the starting station in the first place …

30 Sep 14

TfL Accessibility Show

We’ve just booked ourselves in on a one day event taking place at the ExCel centre on October 2nd.

It’s Access All Areas – a free public exhibition and conference about disabled and older people’s access to transport.

“The event will highlight current and future innovations aimed at making it easier for everyone to get out and about in the Capital. It will also provide an opportunity for disabled and older people and their organisations to discuss priorities for accessibility with leaders in the transport field.”

Access all Areas

Access all Areas

06 Sep 14

Step free access from Bank DLR to Monument

Avoiding the steps at Monument

Avoiding the steps at Monument

Here’s something that we’ve been confused about for a while now, so much so that we emailed TfL, but they’ve so far not got back to us.

On the ‘Avoiding Steps‘ map that they have on their website, it is labelled that Monument station can be accessed without steps on the westbound platform only.  For a moment I thought this might have been a mistake – and it had been labelled so instead of Cannon Street which has a lift, but to the westbound platform only.

But a quick twitter chat with @tflaccess and it all became clear – it IS possible to access the westbound platforms at Monument by using escalators (and thus avoiding steps) if you go via Bank Station DLR.

Bank Lift on King William Street

Bank Lift on King William Street

A little known thing is that there IS lift access to Bank station – but only to the DLR part of the station. The entrance is ‘secret’ and is on King William Street – not part of the main entrance, where a vaguely scary sign suggests that is is for those who want step-free access to the DLR at Bank only.

But because of the layout of the escalators at Bank DLR it’s possible to come up into Monument station on an escalator on the westbound side and thus access it step free.

But we’d like to know (and this is what we keep on emailing TfL and they never reply to us)

Is the lift at Bank for DLR customers only, or if you have heavy luggage or a child in a pushchair, can you use it to legitimately access the westbound platforms at Monument as their ‘Avoiding Steps’ guide suggests?

Who wants to go and try it and find out?


16 Aug 14

Priority Lift Boarding

With major work taking place on the escalators at Cutty Sark DLR station at the bottom, there is only step and lift access when entering the station – there is only an escalator out at the moment.

So there’s a big sign up saying that the lift is for wheelchairs and prams only – as a temporary poster – but this is up next to a permanent sign suggesting that it is always the case at this station, and is the first time we’ve seen a permanent sign suggesting that this is the case at a station.

Priority Boarding

Priority Boarding


27 May 14