Author: Cyril Richert
Wandsworth Council published a press release to announce the opening of Clapham Junction new entrance at Brighton Yard:
“The new step free entrance to Clapham Junction was officially opened today (Thursday) in a move that will help to ease overcrowding throughout the station.
The entrance building is based on St Johns Hill and leads directly into the station’s existing footbridge. From there passengers can access every platform via newly installed lifts.
The new route means thousands of passengers can avoid using the main entrance and subway tunnel which has become increasing congested in recent years.
The upgrade also means the station is now fully accessible to people with reduced mobility and much easier to negotiate for those with young children or heavy luggage. […]
The entrance building includes ticketing facilities, travel information screens, toilets and shops. Outside the entrance a taxi and car pick-up and drop-off point has been created with cycle racks for up to 72 bikes. “
Although we much welcome the opening and are convinced that this goes in the right direction to improve the station and the facility, we have to highlight the irony of the Council’s statement saying: “the opening follows a seven year council campaign for a new station entrance which won backing from thousands of commuters and local residents“. Shall we just remind Wandsworth Borough Council that they worked and supported for five years the plan to erect two skyscrapers of 42 storeys, which was opposed by more than a thousand residents 2 years ago? [as seen in officer’s report here and confirmed in meeting with Network Rail there]
One of the bottle neck issue and justification of last proposal to redevelop the station included the overcrowded subway. As we wrote in January 2010, Network Rail was expecting that the new entrance will direct 30% of the flow of passengers entering or exiting the station at St John’s Hill currently. In the press release the Council is confirming this figure talking of “as much as 25 per cent and create more breathing space in the jam-packed subway tunnel“.
Key figures are (funding):
– Department for Transport – £13.2m (through Access for All and National Stations Improvement Programme)
– South West Trains – £600k
– Wandsworth Council – £300k
– Transport for London – £300k
– Network Rail – £200k
– Railway Heritage Trust £75k
It is a substantial increase from previous figures as we wrote last year that the total amount could be ~£10m (£8.5m for the Access for All scheme previously allocated by the Labour government and the £1.5m to redevelop the entrance). The amount was slightly increased in the statement from the Council 4 months ago to £1.9m for the entrance. Apparently the government has decided to provide additional funding.
Read also our previous articles:
The Clapham Junction Action Group is committed to work with residents, political parties, businesses and all stakeholders to provide ideas for the redevelopment of the station. You can participate here (click).