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London’s first incline lift

Added: 7 January 2013 | Updated: 8 January 2013

Greenford London Underground station will be the first in the UK to install a new incline lift. This innovative design where the lift travels alongside an escalator makes lift installaton considerably cheaper than installing a traditional vertical lift. The incline lift will make Greenford station step free and accessible to disabled and older travellers by spring 2015.

Cost effective solution

Research by Ealing Council shows that installing incline lifts are a cost effective solution for making inaccessible stations step-free. TfL initially estimated a cost of £10m to install a traditional vertical lift at Greenford station. The incline lift makes a huge saving as it only costs £2.2m with a proposed £200,000 contribution from Ealing Council.

Wheelchair users and councillor at greenford station

Ealing Transport Action Group members Khalid and Grace, with Councillor Mahfouz, at Greenford station

Although Greenford will have the first incline lift in the UK, they have already been installed in locations across Europe and America. Christiane Link has been using incline lifts in Hamburg since 1996 and said, “Incline lifts are a good solution at stations where it’s difficult to install regular lifts but it is important to make sure they are not too slow when moving between levels”.

Lift contract

The installation of Greenford’s incline lift is part of a larger £45m Crossrail and Transport for London contract with Kone to install 54 lifts and to supply 22 years of maintenance work. Forty nine lifts will be installed at the new Crossrail stations and five at London Underground stations. incline lifts will be installed at Liverpool Street and Farringdon Crossrail stations. Although the six central London Crossrail stations will have step free access, it is disappointing that in the current plans only 29 out of 37 Crossrail stations will be fully step free.

Alongside the new incline lift, TfL also plans to make Greenford station more accessible to disabled and older people by installing a ramp to access the ticket hall and accessible toilets. The lift at Greenford station will provide the first step free station on the West of the Central Line, enabling disabled and older passengers in the area to take the Central line into London for the first time.