Transport for London staff assist blind passenger

UK: Transport for London has published the results of a consultation on public priorities for step-free access, which it will use to help understand which stations would be good candidates for future work, subject to securing funding.

The consultation attracted more than 5 500 responses. Findings include:

  • interchanges with other transport services are a clear priority, as well as stations near healthcare services;
  • 69% of public respondents felt that it would be best to prioritise step-free access at a combination of smaller and medium-sized London Underground stations and part of a complex station, rather than one complex station, a few medium stations or more smaller stations;
  • 63% of respondents would prefer TfL to ‘plug the gaps’ where there is a large area with few step-free stations, rather than create ‘hubs’ by filling in the gaps where most of an area is already step-free;
  • more than half said their usage of the Underground would expand (52%) and that their journeys would be made easier (68%) and less stressful (64%) if the most important stations were step-free.

Other things that people believe could be improved include toilet provision, accessible signage, staff boarding ramp training and walking distances between step-free routes.

TfL said it is working to address the issues raised, with a budget to improve toilets that are most in need of repair, assessment of gaps in accessible toilet provision, improved step-free wayfinding, additional staff briefings and adding interchange walking time to the online journey planner.

‘The results of the step-free access consultation have already been embedded in our short-term work to improve accessibility and will continue to shape our future goals’, said Chief Customer Officer Mark Evers.