Transport for London (TfL) is considering making changes to its £623M Bank station capacity upgrade plan, to provide step-free access to the Central line.
A new feasibility study has been commissioned by TfL into whether previously dismissed step-free access can be provided to the Central line at Bank, after concerns were raised that it was not part of the current upgrade plans.
Papers released by TfL ahead of its board meeting later this week revealed that several TfL board members – including London mayor Sadiq Khan, deputy mayor Heidi Alexander and FIDIC chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin – had expressed “disappointment” that the entire station would not have step-free access.
Bank Station is currently undergoing a six-year, £623M capacity upgrade. As part of the programme, new step free access will be provided to Northern line and Docklands Light Railway platforms, but step-free access to the Central line is not planned.
In response, TfL said redesigning the project now would be difficult but it had commissioned a report into the problem which will be shared with the TfL programmes and investment committee.
The Central line is one of the worst London Tube lines for accessibility with only two step-free access points on its central London section.
A TfL spokesperson said previous step-free access studies of the Central line at Bank had been carried out, but had shown that the cost of modifying the station would be prohibitively expensive.
A 2015 Planning Inspectorate report to the transport secretary, and community and the local government secretary said no step-free access was currently proposed for the Central line due to the curvature of the platforms and the large resulting gap.
The new feasibility report is due to be completed within the next couple of months.
The Bank station upgrade programme is due to be completed by 2022. It will inclide a new Cannon Street entrance, an expanded Northern line concourse, 12 new escalators and two travellators between the four Tube lines under Bank and the District & Circle lines at the neighbouring Monument station.
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