Accessibility

Making rail travel through London more inclusive and accessible

Improvements at stations and on trains

The Thameslink Programme has improved accessibility at Blackfriars, Farringdon, London Bridge and West Hampstead Thameslink. Accessibility humps have also been installed at all central London Thameslink stations, ensuring passengers with reduced mobility have step-free access for the first time.

Meanwhile, the new fleet of state-of-the-art Class 700 trains provide enhanced accessibility features and are fully compliant with the latest disability legislation.

Accessibility improvements include the installation of level access humps, new footbridges and lifts at stations.

New Class 700 trains also have enhanced accessibility features.

Blackfriars

The first station in London to span the width of the River Thames, work at Blackfriars began in 2009 and was completed in time for the Olympics in 2012.

Accessibility achievements include:

  • New, street-level entrance on South Bank designed to improve accessibility to the station for all passengers. Previously the only entrance to Blackfriars was on the north bank of the river.
  • New, step-free, street-level common entrance on the north bank with no corridors linking the Tube station and the railway station.
  • Full step-free access throughout the station for the first time – there are now lifts to all four platforms from both the north and south bank entrances.
  • Nine new lifts installed in total as well as eight new escalators.
  • Platform humps have been installed to provide level boarding onto the trains for all passengers with reduced mobility.
  • Specially designed toilet for passengers with reduced mobility.
  • More permanent seating and more platform space than ever before.
  • Help points and induction loops throughout the station.
  • Improved customer information systems and directional signage.

London Bridge

London Bridge station has been designed to be inclusive and accessible for all users. This includes people with special mobility, visual, cognitive and hearing requirements.

Accessibility achievements include:

  • The entire station is accessible for passengers with reduced mobility, with all platforms accessible by lift for the first time, with seven new lifts installed in total.
  • Platform humps allow level access to Class 700 Thameslink services, with boarding ramps available for all other services without level access.
  • Tactile paving has been installed to support wayfinding for the visually impaired, while lighting has been designed to be consistent and even throughout the station.
  • Specially designed toilets for passengers with reduced mobility on platforms 1 – 9. The final station design also includes a Changing Places toilet.
  • The ticket office counters incorporate a dual height customer facing counter with accessible transfer tray.
  • Customer information and help points are located on both the street level and terminating concourse levels.
  • Accessibility Assistance Points located at each entrance to the station for use by passengers to request staff assistance to platforms.
  • Induction loops located throughout the station where information is provided.

Farringdon

Thameslink Programme work completed in 2011 and included a new concourse on Turnmill Street, a refurbished London Underground entrance and a spacious new ticket hall for Thameslink and Crossrail passengers.

Accessibility improvements include:

  • Five new lifts to make Farringdon step-free for the first time.
  • Two of the lifts were constructed with a deep shaft, in collaboration with Crossrail. These new lifts will additionally provide step-free access to the Crossrail platforms when Elizabeth line services begin operating through Farringdon in late 2018.
  • A new footbridge and the restored and widened Tube entrance provides extra space for passengers with reduced mobility.

West Hampstead Thameslink

The Thameslink Programme built a new entrance and footbridge at West Hampstead station, providing passengers with reduced mobility improved access to a less congested station with more capacity and easier interchange with nearby Tube and Overground services.

Accessibility achievements include:

  • The new, wider footbridge and lifts to all platforms have made West Hampstead Thameslink step-free for the first time.
  • Alongside the new station building, improvements to the pavement outside the station are providing extra room for pedestrians.

Level access ‘humps’

Platform humps have been installed on the Thameslink platforms at London Bridge, Blackfriars, Farringdon, City Thameslink and St Pancras International to enable level access onto the train.

  • The humps will be located centrally, to align with the designated PRM carriage on both 12-car and 8-car stopping services.
  • Allows unassisted step-free access to Thameslink services in central London
  • Disability Impact Assessments at these stations also helped us to deliver improved customer information systems and signage.

Class 700 trains

The new trains provide excellent accessibility features that are fully compliant with the latest disability legislation:

  • Easy wheelchair access for passengers with specific mobility needs.
  • Wide doors and aisles making it easier for passengers of reduced mobility to get on and off and move about the train.
  • Fully accessible toilets, central to the train. The passenger information screen on the train shows when toilets are free/occupied.
  • Improved passenger information system – better information about the journey and facilities on the train.

Accessibility documents

Diversity and Inclusion Accessibility at London Bridge Station

Project: London Bridge Station

Thameslink Programme Lunch & Learn Session, October 2017

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Case Studies

Accessibility and Inclusion: London Bridge Station

London Bridge station has been designed to be inclusive and accessible for all users, including people with special mobility, visual, cognitive and hearing requirements. This case study showcases our achievements and lessons learned.

Lifts and escalators

With such an increase in forecasted passenger capacity and accessibility required at London Bridge, the lifts and escalators were one of the most critical elements of the new station from the start. This case study looks at the lessons learnt during the design, installation and commissioning.

Blackfriars station goes step-free

Lifts have are now open to all four platforms on both the north and south banks. Four escalators have also been unveiled in the stunning new north bank National Rail ticket hall.