IMPROVEMENT works have finally begun to give Greenford Tube station a much-needed boost.
Plans to make the station step-free from street to platform level began on Wednesday after years of delays by Transport for London (TfL).
Until summer 2015, work will be carried out to introduce a new escalator, a wider staircase, an incline lift in place of the old escalator and a radar key accessible toilet at platform level.
To minimise disruption, TfL say the majority of the work will take place during the night, the station will stay open throughout the developments and the up escalator and stairs will remain in service.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "After decades of suffering and years of campaigning, commuters of Greenford and west London will be elated to see that works are finally starting to install the long awaited lift at the station.
"The new escalator, lift and toilets will be a life-changing moment for many as central London becomes accessible to hundreds, if not thousands of people in west London for the first time. Public transport should be accessible to all in the 21st century and in Ealing we are leading the way across London to make our stations open to all."
Lianna Etkind from campaign charity Transport for All, added: “We really welcome the fact that the lifts are being put in. It’s closer to having a transport system that disabled people can use with freedom and independence.
“Having accessible transport benefits everybody, not just disabled people but those travelling with buggies and luggage as well.”
The inclusion of a toilet in the plans could also be a solution for traders in Oldfield Lane North who are calling for a public bathroom in the area due to daily high demand from customers.
Jas Birring, who owns Birring Fruit and Veg, said: "People are going to the toilet round the back of the shop, in an alley and even on my van."
Another shop owner said they have experienced people so desperate that they have started to cry but the traders are unable to let people go in the shop’s facility because they are not insured to do so.