Author: Cyril Richert
Network Rail has submitted its plan for platform extension and associated development to Platform 17 of Clapham Junction Station (including enlarging the barrier entrance to the under-path) as part of the West London Line platform extension programme (P.A. 2013/5208).
Platform 17 will be straighten and extended to accommodate longer trains. Network Rail will re-align the platform by building a “balcony-type” platform over the pavement on the station approach, with an emergency staircase at the end.
At the same time, they will use the opportunity to move the Platform 17 staircase to free space in the under-path and enlarge the ticket barriers. Instead of the current 7 ticket barriers, we will have 11. With more than 50% increase it will make a big difference, especially at rush hours.
You might remember the arguments of the developers who wanted to build 42 storey skyscrapers at the station in 2008-09: “This is once in a life time opportunity, if the plans are not supported we will face years of continued dreadful conditions at the station“; the proposed Clapham Junction redevelopment was the only possibility to provide the land required to straighten and lengthen platforms 17. Once again they are proven wrong, completely and utterly wrong.
As we wrote back in October 2009:
“The overwhelming complaint relates to the station itself and the intolerable levels of overcrowding and unsafe conditions, particularly on platforms 15 – 17. There is also some level of objection, which I personally strongly share, to the traffic situation around the crossroads by the station entrance.
The former is most certainly Network rail’s responsibility to deal with and the Council should be pushing for Network Rail to stop avoiding its responsibilities here. […] In addition, Network Rail must address the platform straightening issue on platforms 15-17 to provide a safer method of training and de-training passengers.”
Here we are, with style, Network Rail is providing a solution to both platform 17 issues, and the overcrowding experience at St John’s Hill ticket barrier. It should be applauded!
For the past 4 years, Clapham Junction Station has been massively improved, and without the help of the failed “once in a life time opportunity”-Delancey-Metro Shopping Fund-42 storey towers plan:
- Lifts (access-for-all scheme) providing step-free access to every platform (2008-2010)
- New Brighton Yard entrance (2011)
- New canopies (2009-2013)
- New entrance for Grant Road with lift and stairs to new Overground service (2012)
- Straightening and lengthening of platform 17 (2014)
- Enlarging ticket barriers and access on St John’s Hill side (2014)