London Victoria station is going to become easier to use as a £30 million upgrade starts work on tidying up the ticket barriers and clusters of shops.

London Victoria station was not designed for the number of passengers using it today, and even now, with slightly fewer people travelling currently, Network Rail says that narrow gate lines and poor passenger flow around the station and on the platforms causes congestion at busy times.

To improve things, some of the shops next to ticket barriers on platforms 2-7 and at platforms 8-13 will be removed to make space for more ticket barriers. They will also be moving the Gatwick Express ticket office from its current location in front of the platforms to the existing Southern ticket office, so that the full width of the space at platforms 8-13 can be turned into ticket barriers.

Current layout platforms 2-7 (c) Network Rail

Planned layout platforms 2-7 (c) Network Rail

All told that will increase the number of ticket barriers in the station from 86 to 111, including adding 8 more wide (accessible) gates.

They will also be opening up and expanding the station concourse area that serves platforms 15-19, and creating a new thoroughfare between platform 14 and the existing escalators to the Victoria Place Shopping Centre.

Although the changes at Victoria station means the loss of food outlets next to the ticket barriers, new outlets will be constructed on platform level elsewhere, so people don’t have to go up to the shopping centre to get that ever essential cup of coffee in the day, or greasy burger for the journey home after the pubs closed.

The aim of the £30 million project is to help people get on and off trains by creating extra space for the ticket barriers. They expect that to improve train punctuality as well, particularly in peak hours. Arguably, it’s also going to be clearer for passengers not used to the station to see where the trains are from the waiting area as they’re not hidden behind a fast food outlet.

Work on the project is set to get underway in September with the relocation of the Gatwick Express ticket office. Network Rail says that it will then start work on the Kent concourse gate lines (platforms 1 to 7) which serves Southeastern trains in November 2022 and the Sussex concourse gate lines concourse (platforms 8-19) which serves Southern and Gatwick Express later in the year.

To minimise disruption to passengers, the work has been timed with the Victoria resignalling project, a major programme of signalling upgrades on the south London lines into London Victoria. This means the most disruptive work will happen when there are fewer or no passenger services running at the station, as lines will be closed.

The station upgrade is scheduled to finish in late 2023.

Current layout platforms 8-13 (c) Network Rail – older image used

Planned layout platforms 8-13 (c) Network Rail – older image used

Current layout platforms 15-19 (c) Network Rail

Planned layout platforms 15-19 (c) Network Rail

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17 comments
  1. Brian Butterworth says:

    Looks excellent. As a former Brighton to London commuter the exchange of an Upper Crust for access to the trains seems a non-brainer.

    If only Stratford (where I live now) was as easy to fix!

    • Niall says:

      Quite right! Let’s hope the £2m study into Stratford’s redesign yields at least some solutions there…

    • graham says:

      Stratford is a complicated station, it originally was quite a lesser used station pre the JLE which saw its first major update in decades, then the London 2012 Olympic games saw more updates to the station, however the general layout hasnt changed since the 1990s, as the main track layout is as it was when the through fast tracks were removed to make way for the existing platform 9 and 10, the original 10 now being 10a, but Stratfords issue is the 3 underpasses, the middle (and only one directly connected to both gatelines ie both the Westfield and Bus station ones) is too narrow for its current purpose, with Stratford now the busiest station in the Capital and i think in the top list nationwide, it needs alot of altering, the Eastbound Central (P6) and Crossrail (P8) platforms are hampered by the building at the top of the middle subway stairs which pushes customers onto narrow sections of platform for both services which needs to be removed and relocated to the disused Platform 7, a downside of the Central Line Eastbound platform is also it only has 1 Destination board just above the middle stairs, it needs 2 more fitted on the platform above the Eastern subway stairs and the Jubilee Line subway stairs, the Westbound Central & Crossrail platforms dont see the same amount of issues to the Eastbound due to the fact passengers alighting Westbound Central Line train passengers changing to the DLR or JL can use the new platform which has mitigated any overcrowding, however as there is no room for an additional platform for the Eastbound due to the London bound NR tracks right next to the EB Central Line tracks. Stratford is not going to be any easy fix without significant works being done, the other factor is freight movements between Felixstowe and the NLL having to be accounted for while providing means to keep GA fasts moving, the regeneration of the wider stratford area has itself caused the issues the station faces, the only way to improve the safety of the existing p6 and 8 is to shift the fast trains platforms by axing the existing P9, add a fence to the where the tracks currently sit, move the XR tracks onto the existing 9s track, with the current 10 becoming 9 and the current 10a becoming 10 again, with the Central and XR platform having more moveable space as these are the platfroms that suffer, but then where does Freight pass or wait

  2. James says:

    More weekend disruption causing extended journey times if I have the temerity to want to see my family.

    • Matt Sawyer says:

      Omelettes. Eggs. Broken.

    • ChrisC says:

      As stated by Ian they are going to do this when the station is already closed for already planned engineering works.

      And even if that wasn’t the case they aren’t working on the tracks so shouldn’t affect your trip at all.

  3. Neil says:

    I come in from longfield. Why dont you run trains into Central London on that line (INTO CANNON STREET even just 1 an hour) Can be done as when engineering works this happens. This will stop a lot more congestion into vicotria alone.

  4. Toby Chopra says:

    Excellent news. As a West Sussex resident, the Victoria 15-19 annexe is one of the most frustrating bits of station infrastructure around. Now we just have to get the Gatwick works finished and restore journey times to where they were before and regular London trips will become more enticing. Sundays still inexplicably slow though.

  5. 100andthirty says:

    With the elimination of the Gatwick Express ticket office let’s hope they integrate Gatwick Express fares into the general fare structure and give up trying to charge a premium price for what is not a premium product.

  6. SteveP says:

    Wouldn’t it be amazing if we didn’t need ticket barriers at all? I know – I’m a dreamer. How many journeys does it take to “pay” for £30 million in ticket barriers (I know, not a valid argument for this useful improvement)

    I used to work on Buckingham Palace Road, and had to pass through or around Victoria Station each morning – against the main flow of commuters. What a nightmare. I felt like that lone lemming not going over the cliff

  7. Aaron says:

    £30m to demolish Petit Pret and relocate it!!

    There’s a ton of barriers already near platform 1 which are never in service. Opening them up would go a long way…

  8. SPT says:

    30m quid for few barriers! Bonkers.

    • JP says:

      £30m to go back to basics.
      Basics like buy ticket, show ticket at gate, get on train.

      I expect that the cost is indeed taken up by the new gates and associated wiring, trunking, connecting.
      But there’s a part of me wondering if the shop licences have been bought out early and therefore compo has had to be paid.

  9. frediculous_biggs says:

    I wonder if they’ll also be replacing the departure boards on the South Eastern side with the fancy screen style ones that currently exist on the South Central side

  10. Robert Harris says:

    I’m not sure it’s necessary on SE Platforms, 1-7 when more efficient use of the existing barriers would solve the problem (particularly the barriers by Platform 2, which switch from entrance to exit seemingly randomly and without information). This causes queues by the Platform 5 barriers (always mainly exit) when one alights. Sort out timing and information and you’re there. And, as someone has said, there are two sets of barriers by the short Platform 1 – conveniently placed near the loo – which I suspect many folks don’t even register.

  11. Joan Boenke says:

    How likely is it that they install additional toilets on the other side of station so that the whole Concourse doesn’t have to be crossed?

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