New line opened and other improvements underway at the station

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Author: Cyril Richert
The new London Overground route began running on Sunday 9th December. The  service stops en route at Wandsworth Road, Clapham High Street, Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham. Trains from Clapham Junction will continue direct to stations in north and east London including Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton, Highbury and Islington and Dalston Junction.
The new route connects with several tube lines including Clapham North (Northern Line) and Canada Water (Jubilee Line). It also provides connections to Croydon and Crystal Palace.
Platform two in the station has been split to accommodate existing services to Willesden Junction and Stratford, as well as the Highbury & Islington extension (platform 1 remains unused).
Back in 2009 we announced the plan to regenerated the then named East London Line. Although the project was 6 months late on the original target (May 2012 – before the Olympics), this completes the orbital overground line that connect Clapham Junction to Shoreditch/Highbury&Islington on the East and Shepherd’s Bush/Willesden Junction on the West.
I was quoted last week in the Wandsworth Guardian saying:

“The regeneration of the overground lines is great news for Clapham Junction.
It is only a few years ago that the busiest train station in Britain first appeared on the tube map, with the link to Willesden Junction and up north.
It reinforces the station’s role as a major transport hub south of the river and should increase pressure on Network Rail to give its view on the station itself, and not only rely on small patches here and there.”

Three years of improvement for the station with no need of skyscrapers
Back in 2009, Delancey claimed that its project to build two 42-storey skyscrapers in 2009 was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to regenerate Clapham Junction station. Three years later, and without their scheme, we have:

  • Completion of the access for all scheme with lifts on all platforms and lifts to pavements for Brighton yard and both Grant Road entrance.
  • A brand new station entrance in Brighton Yard, with the regeneration of the old postal building at the station.
  • A completely new refurbished entrance in Grant Road with lift, ticket machines and new access to the overground on platform 2.
  • New canopy under-construction on platform 10-11 (to be finished beginning of 2013).

There are still things to be improved: although parts of the under-pass tunnel is currently refurbished with new little shops, major works should be carried out to make it wider and not-so-dreary; and of course we are still awaiting for an enthusiastic project for St John’s Hill entrance/shopping centre. There is actually an opportunity to redevelop the entrance with a sympathetic project as the practice AHMM has been appointed by Delancey to work on a multi-million pounds proposal.

PS on the over-ground line: Just as we highlighted the issue in 2009, it’s always a question of funding! Although we praise this new achievement, we regret that the new line does not connect with the Victoria line at Brixton station. Indeed, in order to reduce the cost of the project (£75m), the route is using a disused alignment which until 1911 was used by trains from Rotherhithe to Peckham via the now defunct Old Kent Road station, passing close to Brixton tube station, just on the other side of the road, and no investment was decided to make any link; only a 1.3 km (0.8 mi) new link was planned from south of Surrey Quays to the Network Rail South London Line to Clapham Junction.

TfL said that currently they might have plans for a Surrey Canal Road station to help ease congestion on match days, subject to funds being found to build it. It might be the same thing for Brixton…

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CJAG News editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.

4 Comments

  1. Whilst the upgrade/improvements are needed please spare a thought to the residents that live directly oppisite the works happening to platform 2 etc. We have to put up the noise/traffic/works/bright lights every single night, and why drilling and over bearing loud noises cannot take place during the day is beyond me why at night. The sooner the works are completed the better. here’s to having an uninteruppted nights sleep at some point. We never here from either Network Rail or Wandsworth Council regarding the works, the lack of communication is laughable.

    • I thought that it was finished? Is it still not the case? Has Network Rail given any deadline for completion?
      Grant Road has been affected for the last 3 years by large developments including the student residential accommodations and some redevelopment of the Grant Road station entrance and Health Centre. Is the current situation worse ?
      PS: as I am writing currently some articles, “communication” and especially “consultation” are words that Wandsworth seem to ignore nowadays.

  2. Have the plans to extend the Northern Line to Clapham Junction completely died a death now?

    • Nothing dead but currently the authorities are concentrating all efforts on having the Northern Line extended to Battersea station. In view of all the efforts and the cost of the project, and as you read in our article even a link of a few yards at Brixton to join with the Victoria line was seen as too expensive, my guess will be that a generation will pass and the redevelopment at Nine Elms will be achieved before any plan goes further; not even talking about the economic climate.

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