Balham tube station is to be exit only during peak hours for the rest of 2021 due to planned escalator works, Transport for London (TfL) announced yesterday.
The station will be exit only from 7:30am to 9:30am on Mondays to Fridays from Monday (28 June) until late December, and there will be no down escalator functioning until the end of the year while works take place.
There are no lift services at Balham tube station, meaning that all access to the platform will be via stairs until the end of the year, and whilst TfL has encouraged those with luggage or buggies to avoid using the station, there has been no clarity on what this means for disabled users.
A TfL spokesperson said: “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused. Thank you for continuing to wear a face covering when using public transport, washing or sanitising your hands before and after travel, and travelling at quieter times where possible.”
The closest tube stations to Balham on the Northern line are Clapham South, which is a 14-minute walk, or Tooting Bec which is a 13-minute walk.
Alternatively, the 155, 249 or 355 buses take eight minutes to get to Clapham South or five minutes to get to Tooting Bec, but during peak times these services will also likely be congested.
On Twitter, responding to questions over why the station was exit only at peak times and not at other times, TfL’s official account explained that during peak times, the staircase down to the platforms would become congested so was closed to ensure passenger safety.
The account also provided a link explaining why the works would take so long, as some Twitter users questioned why maintenance on a single escalator would take six months.
A separate tweet also responded to the question of why this planned work was not done in the previous six months, during which lockdown restrictions were in place, claiming workers having to social distance while working would have impeded the repairs.
Balham overground station is unaffected by the works and TfL also confirmed there would be no issues for passengers getting off at Balham.