Year-long delay on Overground station’s new lifts due to ‘fire alarm integration issues’

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Access lifts at a London Overground station are yet to open a year after they were supposed to start running because of a number of technical issues including problems with integrating the lifts into the fire alarm system.

The lifts at Blackhorse Road Station, which will provide access to the platform for people with mobility issues and wheelchair and scooter users, were set to start running last February after Network Rail’s electrification to the line.

But ongoing technical problems caused consistent delays to the lifts’ opening.

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A spokesperson for Network Rail, which has led the improvement works, confirmed to a local newspaper that the lifts at Blackhorse Road have been delayed because of issues with integrating them into the fire alarm system, which, they said is “critical for their safe use”.

The spokesperson told the Waltham Forest Echo: “We have now rectified these issues and started works on site which are expected to finish at the end of February. I’d like to apologise for the delay to this work and thank passengers for their patience.”

Blackhorse Road is set to become the fifth out of a total of 11 station in Waltham Forest which have step-free access. The four currently with step-free access have ramps.

Last month it was revealed that a new lift contract has been introduced by the London Underground that can be replicated across many stations and is part of the London Mayor’s £200m tube access overhaul.

The new lifts deliver the same standards of reliability but “at a fraction of the cost and length of time” it previously took to design, manufacture and install.

Transport for London (TfL) anticipates that this initiative will cut the cost of installing each lift by 70%, making savings of £15m. It will also cut the delivery time by 40%, allowing TfL to introduce step-free access in the quickest time possible.

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