Abbey Wood’s Crossrail station opens to public without step free access

PUBLISHED: 16:56 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:45 24 October 2017

Abbey Wood station has opened. Ralph Hodgson

Abbey Wood station has opened. Ralph Hodgson

Ralph Hodgson

It follows a four year building project

Abbey Wood station has opened. Ralph HodgsonAbbey Wood station has opened. Ralph Hodgson

Four years of building work saw Abbey Wood’s Crossrail station open to the public on Sunday, but construction continues.

The station, which will be a terminal for the Elizabeth Line when it arrives in December 2018, opened its doors for services between London and north Kent on Sunday, greeting commuters on its weekday service for the first time on Monday.

But despite the station opening, disabled passengers may have struggled to get to their platforms - with no lifts to platforms currently in place.

An access lift to the north Kent line platform was up and running by Tuesday afternoon, while a Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are challenging our lift contractors to complete the work to the Felixstowe Road and Gayton Road lifts as quickly as possible, but the Gayton Road lifts will be brought into use first, in the coming weeks.

Abbey Wood station has opened. Ralph HodgsonAbbey Wood station has opened. Ralph Hodgson

“Transport for London staff are on hand to help anyone with mobility issues access the platforms or travel to the next nearest accessible station.”

As well as having no lifts, the Felixstowe Road access stairs are not expected to open until the end of this week, while other staircases at the station are using temporary handrails.

Transport for London will be able to transport any passengers who cannot travel via Abbey Wood to another, more accessible station, free of charge.

Further work will be taking place on the station’s ticket hall, seating areas along with connecting the station with the surrounding areas.

Abbey Wood station has opened. Ralph HodgsonAbbey Wood station has opened. Ralph Hodgson

The temporary station, open since 2014, is expected to be removed by the end of the year and a car park built over the site.

Once up and running, Crossrail will connect Abbey Wood through London, stretching out to Heathrow Airport and Reading.

Ben Wheeldon, Crossrail programme director at Network Rail, said: “After four years of construction, we are extremely proud of this achievement and the immediate benefits the new station building will bring to the local community. The opening of the new ticket hall and concourse at Abbey Wood is a further milestone for the Crossrail project and a clear demonstration of our Railway Upgrade Plan delivering for passengers. We would like to thank passengers and local residents for their patience while we built this important new station.”

Teresa O’Neill, leader of Bexley council, said: “The opening of the new station in Abbey Wood is really good news for all of Bexley’s residents and businesses and is an important step forward in our plans to improve transport connections and services in the borough.”

From December 2019, when the full route opens, an Elizabeth line service every five minutes will allow passengers to catch one train right through central London to Paddington, Heathrow or Reading in the west.

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