Battersea Park Station in south London could be set for a significant upgrade, as Wandsworth Council and Network Rail work together to deliver a reconfigured station with step-free access.

Platforms 2/3 at Battersea Park Station

The station currently has a ground-floor ticket office that leads up to platforms on the second floor through a fairly narrow set of stairs and corridor and lacks step-free access. The narrow and quite steep stairs are also quite inconvenient for everyone else to use.

A preferred scheme to upgrade the station was presented to Wandsworth Council in 2021 which would create a second entrance at the other end of the platforms which would then include step-free access. However, that plan is on hold due to costs, and now Network Rail has proposed an alternative cheaper scheme to the council.

The motivation for the station upgrade is partly to provide long overdue step-free access, but also as the station is expected to get busier as the nearby Nine Elms development expands, the station would likely not be able to cope with passenger numbers.

Although the council report doesn’t mention it, there’s the potential for London Overground trains to call at the station more frequently in the future. At the moment, Overground trains call there in the early morning and late evening to maintain access rights, but with more trains expected to use the line, there’s the possibility that Battersea Park Station would become a normal part of the Overground network.

Transport for London (TfL) would likely not want to increase services though unless step-free access is available.

The indicative plans would see a new north-south pedestrian route created along the eastern side of the station, where there’s currently a path giving access to the railway arches from the north side, but is blocked at the southern end.

That newly opened path would then lead to a new station entrance, which would be suggestive of being located in one of the railway arches.

The station has five platforms, and the majority of trains use platforms 3/4, with a handful per day at platforms 4/5 while trains don’t currently use Platform 1. Therefore, the plans would see the stairs to platforms 4 and 5 rebuilt, and then step-free access would be provided to platforms 2/3 and 4/5. Step-free access wouldn’t be provided to the disused platform 1, although the design would safeguard access should it be needed in the future. That would be more likely if the above mentioned increase in London Overground services was to come into use.

The current estimated cost of the station upgrade was put at around £35.6 million (inc contingency). At the moment, Wandsworth Council currently has £17 million to spend on an upgrade for the station, plus around £4 million from the Department for Transport (DfT) Access for All improvements programme, which pays for step-free access upgrades.

According to Wandsworth Council, Network Rail has identified the potential to seek additional funding from its Renewals Budget and from the Access for All improvements programme to help close the gap. However, that would still leave a funding gap, but Network Rail is now working on a revised scheme which would reduce the cost of the project to a point where it can be delivered with the available funds of around £20 million.

That revised plan now needs to be investigated to ensure the expected cost savings are achievable in fact rather than just in theory. That extra work is expected to take until early 2025, and the council says that Network Rail has indicated that it would seek to commence the implementation as soon as practicably possible after the detailed design is complete.

The decision to proceed with the amended scheme is being put to Wandsworth Council’s Transport Committee later this week.

Assuming all goes ahead, then the station would be likely to get a new entrance and step-free access towards the end of 2026.


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  1. David C says:

    Some time ago I wrote a fairly detailed piece on the long and troubled history of the Battersea Park step free project – including speculating on some of the options – here:

    It’s a complicated & costly station to make step free, and it’d probably be a long way down Net work Rail’s to-do list if it wasn’t for the combination of very substantial local population & retail / hotel / office space growth, and an unusually steep and dodgy current set of access stairs.

    That said, there are what look like some cheap(ish) step free options, especially if Network Rail are willing to have unsupervised lift exit at the opposite end of one of the platforms to the main station exit (which would also slightly constrain access along the platform) – essentially just building a lift for platform 4/5 to street level rather than a full new entrance, and leaving the existing entrance area as-is other than a lift to platform 2/3.

    In any case – thanks Ian for the update. It’s good to see the project is still being explored, and it’ll be interesting to see what the new plans look like.

  2. Paul says:

    Cancel the stupid Stonehenge Tunnel and spend the £2bn on decent station upgrades. A bit of vision at Battersea would bring together Battersea Park, Queenstown Road, and platforms on the London Overground route into Clapham Junction and create one modern fully accessible station.
    As ever politicians know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

  3. Stephen Spark says:

    Surely they could get a decent funding contribution from the Battersea Power Station developer – it’s very much in their interesst to have the best connectivity possible. I always thought it was crazy that the BPS branch plans never envisaged any kind of direct link with Battersea Park station – typical of the UK’s dysfunctional, non-joined-up thinking on transport.

    • ianVisits says:

      The developers are the ones paying for the upgrade, that’s where the council gets its money from.

  4. Dennis Austin says:

    How does one access Network Rail’s drawings for the preferred scheme? Or any of the less preferred schemes for that matter?

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