Tufnell Park Underground station closure (1)

MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What consideration has been given to keeping Tufnell Park station open during the works, for entry or exit only, using the stairs as access? Several other stations - such as Camden, Mornington Crescent and Holloway Road - remain open for either entry or exit only during busy periods.


Answer for Tufnell Park Underground station closure (1)

Answer for Tufnell Park Underground station closure (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

LU spent time last year investigating how best to carry out lift replacement works, and this was reviewed at the highest level at Tufnell Park Underground station in the safest, most efficient manner possible whilst keeping disruption in the area to a minimum. LU does not close its stations lightly; therefore its goal was to develop a programme that kept the station open. However, when it became clear that there was no safe alternative to closing the station, LU's obligation - to maintain a safe and operational railway at all times - meant the sole option was to temporarily close the station.

The option of using the spiral staircase, equivalent to a five-story building, as the sole access to platform level during the lift replacement programme was assessed and deemed unsafe. In emergency situations, such as both lifts failing, the station can temporarily operate with the sole use of the spiral staircase with service control ready to non-stop trains at Tufnell Park in order to allow the staircase to clear when necessary.

However, if all customers were required to use the spiral staircase during regular operation, there would be an increased risk of slips, trips and falls as this arrangement would force some customers to walk closer to the apex of each spiral where there is less room on each riser to the tread. Furthermore should an incident on the staircase occur, the only means of exit from the station would be blocked.

In addition to this not a safe option with the station in its current layout, during the lift works there will be restricted space for customer flow at the top and the bottom of the spiral staircase due to the worksite space required to carry out the lift extraction and replacement.

Such an arrangement would therefore not adequately protect customer safety, reliable access to Tufnell Park Underground station or a reliable Northern line service. Arrangements that LU puts in place to safely manage the flow of customers during busy periods at other stations are not directly comparable to the situation at Tufnell Park.