A new southern side entrance has opened on the London Overground’s westbound platform at Hackney Central station removing the need to use the footbridge to leave the station.
The new entrance is technically a temporary structure, as there are longer-term plans to redevelop the north side of Hackney Central station, and a much larger ticket office and entrance would be created. At that point, this second entrance may be retained, upgraded, or could be redeveloped for housing by the council. As an aside, part of the reason why the Hackney Central station’s north side entrance is so small is that it was always intended to be a temporary building, to be replaced by a new station on the Crossrail 2 line. Obviously, that never happened, and with the Overground surging in use, the old ticket office can’t cope. Hence the need for the new entrance on the south side.
The new entrance gives direct access to Platform 1, and via the existing footbridge to Platform 2. Although the footbridge linking the two platforms has lifts, the new entrance only comes with stairs and doesn’t have a lift. This prioritised providing the new entrance over providing accessibility, but adding a lift would have pushed the cost up. While not optimal, both platforms are still accessible as the station will remain to have entrances on both sides. The Department of Transport (DfT) provided an exemption to avoid adding the lift in this phase of the development.
In the meantime though, the new additional entrance provides major improvements to the station including a new covered gate line, two new ticket vending machines and additional cycle storage. It also features a green roof on both the new station building and the covered cycle storage, a green wall, new trees in the customer area, and quite a few potplants around the sides.
A nice touch is the information screen that’s visible as people leave the station, providing live next bus information next to the station exit to help with onward connections, with a newly installed pedestrian crossing making it safer to cross the road for buses heading towards Dalston.
There are two sets of cycle bays – a standard public cycle rack and also a secured cycle rack managed by Falco cycle parking.
The £3 million station entrance was delivered with funding by the Department for Transport (DfT) using land that Hackney Council owns. The project was delivered by Arriva Rail London, who operate London Overground services on TfL’s behalf, and Network Rail. The project was designed and projected managed by The Trevor Patrick Partnership and built by contractor KN Circet UK.
It is anticipated that around a third of customers arriving on the westbound platform will make use of the new entrance, although it may need additional signage to let people know it exists, as it’s at the far end of the platform and on my weekend visit it’s pretty much invisible unless you are standing near it.