New Clapham Junction entrance opens

Published: 19 May 2011

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 opening follows a seven year council campaign for a new station entrance which won backing from thousands of commuters and local residents. The council made a financial contribution to the project to ensure the new facilities were up to scratch and that the new ticket hall would be large enough to handle high volumes of passengers.

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. 

The project was funded by Wandsworth Council, Department for Transport, South West Trains, Transport for London and the Railway Heritage Trust.

Cllr Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: "By giving people a new way into the station we will 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.

"Anyone who travels though Clapham Junction will understand how important it is that the overcrowding problems are tackled and we will continue to work with the rail authorities to make sure conditions improve further."

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Clapham Junction is one of the busiest stations in the capital, with thousands of commuters and travellers relying on it every day to get around this great city.

"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."

Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said: "Train travel continues to grow in popularity and everyone should be able to benefit from this - that's why the government is investing £370m through our Access for All scheme which aims to make railway stations more accessible. In addition, our National Stations Improvement Programme continues to provide funds to modernise stations across the network."

Robin Gisby, Network Rail's director of operations and customer services, said: "Clapham Junction is a good example of the significant progress we are making to deliver stations which better meet the changing needs of passengers and increase capacity on the busy network.  The improvements make the most of the funding we had available and address as many of the things we know are important to people who use the station as possible, including access, congestion, facilities and better connections."

Andy Pitt, managing director for South West Trains said: "We're 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."

Notes to Editors:

The upgrade of Clapham Junction, including the Brighton Yard entrance improvements were funded as follows:

- 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

Records suggest the Brighton Yard entrance was closed in the late 1940s, although it may have been re-opened for a short period in the 1960s.

The work at Clapham Junction was delivered by Network Rail, in partnership with its contractor Osborne.