Transport for London has today announced the opening of the new southern entrance and ticket hall at Ilford station.

The new entrance, which provides step-free access to platform 1, will increase capacity to the station with TfL predicting an increase in passenger numbers when the Elizabeth Line opens in the first half of next year.

Originally proposed in 2015, the upgrade was sponsored by Redbridge Council with grants from the Greater London Authority and TfL.

Heidi Alexander, London’s deputy mayor for transport, said: “This new entrance will make a big difference to passengers using Ilford station, increasing capacity and ease of access. Later this year, lifts, real-time information boards and other improvements will make the station easier to navigate, supporting all those using the network and the overall development of the local area ahead of the Elizabeth Line opening.”

Currently serving TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, Ilford will eventually be one of 41 stations on the Elizabeth Line that will connect it to Reading and Heathrow Airport in the west.

TfL has confirmed there are no planned full line closures between Liverpool Street and Shenfield over the summer.

The new entrance on the Ilford Hill side of the station will be open from 6am to 11pm and staff will be on hand at all times.