A busy London Tube station will be closed for the first half of 2017 for the installation of two new lifts.

Lancaster Gate, on the Central line, will shut to customers on January 4 while two 30-year-old elevators, which can carry 50 people, are replaced.

The station is not expected to reopen until mid-July.

Transport for London (TfL) said the new lifts will greatly improve reliability, reducing failures and ensuring that customers face fewer delays when exiting the station.

They will also use less energy, include CCTV and have hearing induction loops, TfL said.

London Underground (LU) explored the possibility of replacing the lifts one at a time in order to keep the station open, but this would have caused long queues and was deemed unsafe.

There would also be no alternative available if that lift broke down, meaning commuters would have to take on the 100 steps - equivalent to a four storey building - and the conclusion was reached that closure of Lancaster Gate was the “quickest and most efficient way” to replace the aging lifts.

LU advises customers to use nearby alternative stations while Lancaster Gate is closed.

From Lancaster Gate, customers can access the Central line by using Queensway, which is a 12-minute walk, or Marble Arch, a 13 minute walk.

Paddington is a seven-minute walk and serves the Bakerloo, District , Circle, and Hammersmith & City lines.

Alternatively, bus routes that serve the area are numbers 46, 94, 148, 274 and 390.

Mark Wild, LU’s managing director, said: “I’m sorry for the disruption that the lift work will cause our customers, but the new lifts will be more reliable with fewer delays when the work is complete.

“Closing the station is the quickest and most efficient way to replace the lifts - the decision has not been taken lightly and we will work hard to complete this vital upgrade as quickly as possible, keeping customers and local businesses up to date as the work progresses.” Travelling home for Christmas? Here is everything you need to know about festive disruption

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