Rail passengers using Clapham Junction station are to benefit from greater accessibility and improved facilities thanks to a new £1.9m renovation of the disused Brighton Yard entrance.
The project has been funded by the Department for Transport, South West Trains, Wandsworth council, Transport for London, Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust.
The new step-free entrance will make it easier for passengers in the St John’s Hill area who will no longer need to use the existing cramped subway access.
Features include a passenger collection/dropping off point, 72 cycle racks, a refurbished ticket hall and new retail units.
Network Rail’s Robin Gisby said the improvements would address “many of the things we know are important to people who use the station as possible, including access, congestion, facilities and better connections.”
Bringing the entrance back into use completes £10.5m of work to the station under the Government’s Access For All scheme which has also seen the installation of nine lifts to make it easier to reach platforms.
Speaking at the opening, Transport Minister Norman Baker, said: “Train travel continues to grow in popularity and everyone should be able to benefit from this.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the entrance, which was partly funded by TfL’s Great Outdoors programme, said: “The fantastic new entrance means it is more accessible, brighter and much easier to negotiate.
“With much-needed traffic improvements and new taxi ranks also installed outside the station, the whole area will now be a calmer place to travel through.”
This morning’s opening was also attended by Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia and Andy Pitt, managing director for South West Trains.
Cllr Govindia predicted the new entrance would “take the pressure of the main entrance by as much as 25 per cent and create more breathing space in the jam-packed subway tunnel.”
Pitt said SWT were “pleased to have played our part in delivering these important improvements at Clapham Junction.
“With around 41m journeys through the station every year, it’s by far the biggest interchange station on the UK rail network, and the new entrance and lifts will help to ease congestion around the station and provide significantly improved access for our passengers.”