The Anonymous Widower

Is This A Simple And Affordable Solution To Providing Step-Free Access At Essex Road Station?

The access to and from the platforms at Essex Road station, is not the best.

There is a set of tunnels beneath the two platforms.

  • The tunnels are connected to the surface, by a pair of large lifts and an emergency spiral staircase.
  • The tunnels are connected to the platforms by two wide sets of stairs.
  • One set of stairs is for passengers leaving the station and the others are for those arriving.

This set of pictures shows some of stations underground features.

It looks to be a difficult station to make step-free.

  • The platforms are narrow.
  • There is very little space in the station building to add more lifts direct to the platform.
  • I’m not sure,but the rail tunnels might be under the Canonbury Road, which runs outside the station.

Unless its possible to use the Greenford solution.

This picture shows the inclined lift/stairs and escalator installation at Greenford station.

Note.

  1. The inclined lift has a capacity of about 4-6 people in normal times.
  2. The staircase is double, with a handrail up the middle.
  3. The escalator is permanently set to up.

It should be noted that Greenford station has two Central Line platforms and one National Rail platforms.

Could this type of installation be used at Essex Road station?

I will look at a few points and issues.

Station Usage

It should be said, that despite the different natures of the station, we are not comparing apples with oranges, as to get between the street and platforms at both stations, passengers have to use the stairs at Essex Road station or the multi-mode installation at Greenford station.

Entries and exits to Essex Road station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2016-17 – 811,000
  • 2017-18 – 861,000
  • 2018-19 – 857,000
  • 2019-20 – 768,000

The average is 824,000

National Rail entries and exits to Greenford station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2016-17 – 230,000
  • 2017-18 – 151,000
  • 2018-19 – 153,000
  • 2019-20 – 170,000

The average is 176,000

Central Line entries and exits to Greenford station over the last four years are as follows.

  • 2015 – 4,720,000
  • 2016 – 4,810,000
  • 2017 – 4,680,000
  • 2018 – 4,250,000

The average is 4,615,000

The total for Greenford station is 4,791,000 or nearly six times as much as Essex Road station.

In fact, the difference is bigger than that as Essex Road station could have a pair of installations, so the capacity of each of the Essex Road installations, would only need to be a twelfth of that of the Greenford installation.

London’s Single Escalators

London has several single escalators.

Three pictures are from Moorgate and the other one is at Greenford.

Could Pairs Of An Inclined Lift And An Escalator Be Fitted In At Essex Road Station?

It would be tight to fit a pair in one staircase, but I’m sure it would be possible. Especially, if the shaft could be widened a bit.

If they could be made to fit, then a simple program of works could be applied.

  • Close one staircase and use the other staircase for both entry and exit. As there is a cross-tunnel, passengers would be able to walk between the lifts and the platforms, by walking about an extra thirty metres or so.
  • The closed tunnel would then be gutted and an inclined lift and escalator would be fitted and tested.
  • Once complete and tested, it would be opened to passengers.
  • The station would now be entrance-only or exit-only, whilst the second lift and escalator were fitted and tested.

Being entrance-only or exit-only would not be the greatest problem, as the 271 bus parallels the rail route between Highbury & Islington and Moorgate stations.

Could An Inclined Lift And A Pair Of Escalators Be Fitted?

In this installation, one shaft would be fitted with a pair of escalators and the other with an inclined lift.

A similar program of works to that I laid out previously would be applied.

Conclusion

Essex Road station could be made step-free.

Because of the bus routes in the area and the 271 in particular, it wouldn’t cause the greatest of inconveniences to close the station for some time.

December 4, 2020 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. My early years were spent in a house in New North Road and I remember that if you laid on the floor you could hear the trains below !

    Essex Road Station was at one time down to be on Crossrail 2 which would no doubt lead to a major development including step free access but changes to Crossrail 2 have I believe removed the Station from this plans.

    Given how plans to make Old Street and Highbury and Islington Stations on this line have been proposed then making Essex Road Station accessible would be useful .

    I have noticed at tge terminus at Moorgate Station provision for a lift has been created on tge Northern Line platforms but when you go up to the Great Northern platforms directly above their is no sign of this lift stopping at this level !

    Comment by Melvyn | December 5, 2020 | Reply

    • I don’t think that Essex Road station would be more difficult to make step-free, than Greenford was. It should also be remembered, that they put two escalators in Moorgate between the two low-level platforms, so I suspect they could get the component parts of the lifts and escalators into Essex Road.

      Highbury and Islington would be made step-free by opening up the second entrance on the other side of the road, which would be a shorter walk for me from the bus stop. At the moment the area, is filled with the electrical gubbins for the Victoria Line. I was told this, by one of the guys in the station, who had had a look round.

      Old Street may get its lifts reinstated in the existing shaft, but I doubt they ever served the Northern Line. The Great Northern platforms are to have a step-free tunnel to the main Crossrail station.

      It will be interesting to see what is provided there when Crossrail opens.

      It looks to me, that at Moorgate, that the two lifts to get passengers under the Metropolitan and Circle Lines could open earlier than Crossrail, as both lifts now look finished from ten metres away. That would be useful.

      Comment by AnonW | December 5, 2020 | Reply


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