The latest phase of our long-running campaign to open the side entrance to Sutton station has entered a new phase with the Council’s submission to Transport for London of a bid for funding under the TfL Major Projects scheme.
Sutton station is the 5th busiest in South London, and the 27th busiest in the whole of Greater London, with almost 6 million passenger movements every year. It is one of 18 stations in London identified by TfL as suffering significant congestion problems.
The main elements in the scheme would not only include opening the side entrance but extensive landscaping to improve the appearance of what would in effect be a new entrance from The Quadrant. The main elements include:
* Opening up the side entrance to the station to improve station access and egress, improve the streetscape and improve pedestrian access to the station
* Public realm and footway improvements in The Quadrant and at the front of the station
* Bus stop improvements at the front of the station to improve passenger experience
* “De-cluttering” and harmonisation of street furniture and materials
* Junction and crossing improvements on walking routes to the station
* Road safety improvements
* Additional cycle parking and cycle lanes, and
* Improved street lighting.
Benefits of the scheme will include reduced pedestrian journey times between the station and The Quadrant, the station car park and the Langley Park Road area, as well as reduced congestion within the station main entrance and at the barriers.
Opening the side entrance at Sutton Station would cater for the considerable demand for direct access to the station from the Quadrant House office block, which houses Reed Business Information (with approximately 2,000 employees, about one third of whom travel to work by train) and a number of other expanding companies, together with Tudor Court office block, which houses Synergy UK. The new entrance would also serve the large station car park (which Network Rail wish to expand), and the motorcycle and cycle parking areas, which generate considerable demand for access from that side of the station. There is also direct footpath access between The Quadrant and Langley Park Road and surrounding residential streets, well-used by rail passengers. These station users currently have to walk around the side to the front of the station on a convoluted route and negotiate busy footways, bus stops and the station entrance. Most of these passengers are likely to have season tickets, and opening up the side entrance would significantly reduce their journey times and congestion outside and in the entrance hall of the main station entrance.
The Council has been lobbying for the opening up of the side entrance since it was created over ten years ago with a retractable shutter. The entrance is opened up when rail replacement buses are used during engineering work, as the buses stop in The Quadrant. This demonstrates that it is possible to open up and allow passengers to use this entrance in principle. Southern support the opening in principle, subject to funding being available to provide the barriers etc. Network Rail also supports the scheme in principle and has assisted with initial business case work.
We will keep you advised of progress.