Appalling lack of access to the London Underground finally revealed by the Mayor of London – Caroline Pidgeon obtains figures showing that Westminster Tube station saw lift closures of over 2000 hours last year

March 12, 2014 11:44 AM

The appalling lack of access to the London Underground for people with mobility issues has been finally revealed in new figures which show

the true extent of unscheduled closures of individual lifts at London Underground stations

The very worst station in terms of access to its individual lifts was Westminster station where last year its lifts broke down on 99 occasions, totaling up to over 2073 hours of closures.

The figures obtained by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, were only finally released by the Mayor of London after three months of refusing to publish the data. The shocking figures also reveal that serious problems occurred at a number of other London Underground stations on the Jubilee Line, including Stratford which saw unplanned closures of its lifts of 1842 hours last year and Wembley Park where its lifts were closed for 1414 hours. Further problems occurred at Canada Water, where its lifts had unplanned closures of 963 hours, at Green Park where there were closures of 607 hours, at London Bridge with closures of 488 hours and North Greenwich with closures of 393 hours.

Commenting on the figures Caroline Pidgeon said:

"Bold claims about a station having step free access are meaningless when lifts are not operating for such long periods of time. It is utterly disgraceful that such an important station as Westminster, which is at the very heart of our capital, is so inaccessible.

"People with mobility issues are being denied full access to the London Underground. When the only lift down to a platform is not operating the reality for a disabled person is that the station might as well be closed."

"It is time that the Mayor and Transport for London stopped denying there was a massive problem with the reliability of many London Underground lifts. In particular there seems a serious problem with the lifts at stations on the Jubilee Line that were only installed a few years ago."

Highlighting what steps are now required by the Mayor and Transport for London Caroline Pidgeon said:

"At the very least far more information should be made available about lifts not operating and when closures continue over many days alternative transport, including in some cases free cab journeys, must be offered to people who are totally dependent on step free access."

"Of course in the long term the number one priority must be to improve the reliability of lifts across the London Underground."


Notes to editors

  1. Caroline Pidgeon's question to the Mayor about the reliability of lifts at London Underground stations was asked in November 2013

  1. The information from the Mayor of London was only finally provided last week - see enclosed attachments.
  1. In 2013 the total number of unplanned closures of lifts at Jubilee Line underground stations for individual lifts was:


Total no. of hours lifts out of Service





Wembley Park


Canada Water


Green Park


London Bridge


North Greenwich




West Ham




Canary Wharf






Canning Town