Works are underway at the moment at West Hampstead station to build an entirely new and much larger entrance to deal with the problem of the current tiny ticket hall.

At the moment, what can be best described as a small brick shed with just three ticket barriers and barely enough space to swing a proverbial cat is what serves as the entrance to an increasingly busy London Overground station.

The area is also a hub, with three stations all within a few minutes of each other along a very crowded pavement. The three stations on West End Lane are used by more than 13 million passengers each year, and it’s becoming a serious problem to get between them.

The station originally opened in 1888 as West End Lane station until it was renamed as West Hampstead in 1975, with British Rail taking over North London Railway in controlling rail operations. Subsequently, following privatisation of British Rail, operations were controlled firstly by Silverlink (1997 – 2007) and secondly TfL (2007 – present).

In recent years the operation of the Overground station has become more difficult, as passenger numbers are rising year on year especially during the peak hours, and congestion has become an increasing problem.

While some modest work took place recently at the London Underground station, and a much larger new entrance was added at West Hampstead Thameslink, the London Overground station has been waiting for its own upgrade.

What’s been worked on at the moment then to build an entirely new entrance next to the station and close off the old smaller entrance entirely. The new station will also be set back, providing a wider footway at the entrance, which currently fronts directly onto a narrow pavement.

Some of the funding for the redevelopment comes from Ballymore, who are building just under 200 homes next to the station in a series of low-rise blocks of flats.

A new over-bridge will also include lifts to give the station step-free access for the first time, while the staircases will be double the width of the current wooden stairs.. There will also be a public toilet, on the ticker barrier side of the station.

The number of ticket barriers more than doubles to 10 in total.

The new station entrance is due to open around August this year.

The existing Edwardian era station building will be later removed, and turned into a “retail opportunity”.


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  1. Melvyn says:

    When Ken Livingstone was Mayor he began work to look at ways to combine West Hampstead together to form an accessible integrated interchange and even the possibility of Chiltern and Metropolitan Line services which run through stopping there as well

    Alas Ken lost the 2008 Mayoral election and New Mayor Boris wasted a decade doing nothing . Instead we had seperate upgrade of the Thameslink Station and now this scheme for the Overground but still nothing for the underground station which also has the problem of being on the opposite side of West End Lane leading to large numbers of users crossing the road .

    Even if we exclude Chiltern and Metropolitans the Jubilee Line has a problem of being on an island platform making it more dangerous for wheelchair users.

    One possibility would be to look at demolition of existing entrance and extension of platform beneath West End Lane it would then be a case of whether a seperate station would be needed or stairs / lifts to link to Overground could be built.

    What this shows is how Mayor Ken Livingstone was right to look at problems before developments began because new buildings now make simple solutions much more difficult !

  2. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I think that new footbridge linking between West Hampstead Thameslink and West Hampstead London Overground stations will relief congestion and a new subway linking between West Hampstead London Overground and London Underground stations will also relief congestion. As part of the West Hampstead regeneration. Including West End Lane that is a busy road.

    Plus 2 new platforms could be built for Metropolitan Line trains to serve West Hampstead aswell Jubilee Line. And new platforms could also be added for Chiltern Railways trains to also serve West Hampstead but Thameslink provides services into Central London.

  3. Tom says:

    I live in West Hampstead and that Iverson Road junction is really nasty. A visual link is all very well, but most people crossing the road there will be very carefully looking at the traffic, not at some distant Overground or Underground sign. Whyn’t don’t they put a pedestrian subway in under the road there? There’s plenty of room. Also, the current signage between stations is awful.

    That said, what they should probably really consider is demolishing the two car stores next to Homebase (maybe Homebase as well), and building a brand new unified West Hampstead station across all lines there. There’s already a road down there (Blackburn Road), and there’s plenty of room for new platforms and concourses.

    As a bonus, it would be closer to Finchley Road for people coming from that direction. There would even be space for a nice bus station as well. Buses would be able to call in from routes both along West End Lane and Finchley Road. (Some already stop just metres away on the Finchley Road leg of Blackburn Road and the current situation on West End Lane is appalling)

    There’s already a footbridge from Priory Road, and Billy Fury way and Potteries Path could be converted from dodgy criminal escape routes to station entrances and exits!

    Also, Homebase and the existing car stores are a bit of an eyesore and they’re downhill from the main streets, so I reckon they could easily put some new low rise or retail units in there to pay for it all without anybody blinking an eye lid. There’s a big car park next door which could be redeveloped into a nice park or Boulevard at some point too, then if they play their cards right, they might even be able to scrap the two Finchley Road stations altogether and turn them into retail units. (They’re both quite horrible stations in my opinion, apart from the nice cross platform interchange at Finchley Road Underground, which in any case, would be similar in the new station) And Blackburn Road could be converted into a full loop for buses.

    It could eventually (in the future) become a major London station. Especially if they build the Old Oak Common stations, run trains along the Dudding Hill line, and move South Acton south to do something about the non-existent interconnect and the two (!) level crossings there…

    Well anyway, it looks like all that is never going to happen now. There’s too much vested interest in the status quo! And let’s face it, maybe West Hampstead isn’t really the place for such a comprehensive redevelopment programme.

  4. As a non-driver the best solution would be to make West End Lane a tree-lined pedestrian and cycling boulevard!

    Ha ha!

  5. Mark says:

    Useful summary. A couple of corrections. New Overground station entrance is scheduled to open in December 2018. It’s just short of 20 million passengers (combined) using the three stations; 11 million at the Underground alone.

  6. Duncan Martin says:

    From what I read, the whole Homebase chain has an uncertain future, so it’s site might become available.

  7. Bob says:

    What a shame that the original facade of the Overground station won’t be integrated into the new design. The Victorian brick structure is so ‘West Hampstead – West End Lane’ which is now in danger of losing its charm with so many unappealing, generic or bland new buildings in the near vicinity…
    What a shame; I’ll miss it (but realise the number of passengers imply a bigger station).

  8. Reza Ameripour says:

    As i’m wheelchair user not only i’m very happy about access and more freedom can’t wait for this dream .
    Thanks to all and saffd making it happening.

  9. Andrew says:

    Unfortunately, neither Boris nor Sadiq Khan have any real vision for London, and this is the result.

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