The Mayor and Transport for London’s (TfL’s) plans for a more accessible railway have reached a new milestone, with a 50% increase in the number of London Underground stations providing step-free access from platform to train via new boarding ramps.

Manual boarding ramps were first introduced to the Tube as a trial to help make the 2012 Games the most accessible ever held. Since then they have been permanently installed at many more stations and with 28 more stations now fitted with them over the past year the total now stands at more than 50. Alongside other innovations such as permanent ‘platform humps’ – which raise a section of the platform to be level with the train – and new low-floor trains on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, the ramps are helping revolutionise step-free travel in the Capital.

The new ramps have a mix of designs to suit the different needs of stations and trains across the network. They include the unique ‘step-down’ ramp that LU developed in 2014, for stations where the platform is lower than the train. Some of the stations receiving ramps are already step-free from street to platform. Others give step-free interchange between different Tube and rail lines.

The move comes as TfL published its latest plans on making its network more accessible, and how it has measured up so far to previous pledges. The Your Accessible Transport Network May 2015 update document contains details on accessibility improvements over the last year, and an outline from the Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE on plans for the future. It’s available at:

The document outlines how manual boarding ramps have now been introduced at 55 Tube stations, with more to follow, how ‘turn-up-and-go’ is now in operation at all London Overground stations, and how good progress is being made to make 95% of bus stops fully accessible, to complement London’s fully accessible bus fleet. As of March this year, more than 80% of stops meet these standards, up from less than 30% in 2008. Turn-up-and-go will also be introduced onto the rail services out of Liverpool Street which TfL is taking over on May 31 this year.

It also explains how TfL is improving training for its staff. Disabled Londoners and accessibility organisations are working directly with TfL staff to help them do their jobs better, by making them more aware of all passengers’ needs. From next year, bus drivers will be given additional accessibility awareness training. Customer service at Tube stations is also being improved with staff being moved from ticket offices and out to the gate lines and platforms, where customers need them most.

Step-free stations where ramps have been fitted:

  • Acton Town (Piccadilly line)
  • Dagenham Heathway (westbound only)
  • Hammersmith (Piccadilly line)
  • Heathrow Terminal 5
  • Ruislip (Piccadilly line)
  • Sudbury Town
  • Willesden Junction

Step-free interchanges where ramps have been fitted:

  • Aldgate East – District
  • Baker Street – Bakerloo (Southbound only)
  • Ealing Broadway – District and Central
  • Ealing Common – District and Piccadilly
  • Edgware Road – District
  • Finchley Road – Jubilee
  • Gunnersbury – London Overground and District
  • High Street Kensington – District
  • Hillingdon – Piccadilly
  • Kew Gardens – London Overground
  • South Kensington – District (Eastbound Only)
  • Rayners Lane – Piccadilly and Metropolitan
  • Uxbridge – Piccadilly
  • Willesden Junction – Bakerloo