Nearly a decade after a similar plan was quashed, TfL is making an attempt to give Southwark tube station a second entrance.
The plans are for a new entrance on a residential street about half way towards Waterloo station, with the intention of reducing crowding at the current entrance, which faces directly onto a busy pedestrian crossing.
TfL says that the Greet Street location was chosen as it provides a clear route to The Cut and to Roupell Street, for access to the Waterloo area and the northern end of Blackfriars Road.
TfL already owns the land for the entrance and says that its proposed design, requires minimal change to the existing station and provides value for money.
Although the main reason for the second entrance is said to be to deal with increasing numbers of people using the station, it also opens up the opportunity to redevelop the existing entrance as well. A plan to build blocks of flats and offices over Southwark tube station could have seen the existing Holden-inspired entrance demolished, although TfL backed away following protests from architects.
They will still, however, face problems if the existing entrance has to be kept open during the construction phase, so the second entrance will make it easier to secure permission for the housing development.
However, the plans may struggle, as back in 2009, a similar scheme by Network Rail to create a new entrance to Waterloo East on the same site was blocked by Lambeth Council.
At the time, the plans were opposed by local residents as the street is largely residential in nature and there were concerns about noise and crowds.
It may be just an overzealous graphics designer, but the totem outside the new entrance in a computer graphic does suggest a link with Network Rail as well — either through the tube station (as is sort of possible already), or including some aspects of the dropped Network Rail proposal.
That does look unlikely though, as Network Rail is itself mulling a long term plan to build a Blackfriars style station for Charing Cross, which would then see Waterloo East station demolished.
A consultation has now opened into the proposals, and you have until 9th October to respond.
If approved, then construction would start in early 2021.