This month, work will start at Surbiton station to add a new deck to the existing footbridge at the ‘London end’ of platforms 3 and 4, along with eight additional ticket gatelines, accessed by a new staircase.
The station has two central island platforms and a large footbridge that then leads to two exits on either side of the railway.
The station is currently the eighth busiest on the Wessex route, and in the evening peak hours, there can be crowds building up on the platforms as there is currently just a single set of steps on each platform up to the footbridge
At times, these queues can prevent trains from leaving on time and cause delays to South Western Railway (SWR) services towards Guildford, Hampton Court and Woking. It is estimated that the proposed improvements will make journeys at the station as much as a third faster.
Even after the pandemic, passenger numbers are already returning to levels that are considered to be too high for the current layout and will become dangerous in the next few years. The station is however Grade II listed due to its Art Deco design, so the changes had to go through careful planning to make sure they didn’t disturb the appearance of the station.
What they have developed is to build a new podium above the railway tracks linking the southern entrance with the platform, and creating a lot more space to allow for a second set of stairs to be built without overloading the footbridge with crowds.
In addition to the extra staircase, they will also then have the space to triple the number of ticket barriers from four to 12 ticket gates, although they also need to move the existing external staircase next to the entrance building to accommodate the new podium.
Enabling work for the scheme is scheduled to begin at the station this month, with the main construction work taking place between November 2021 and April 2022. Network Rail anticipates that assuming no delays, that the new staircase and gatelines will be commissioned in May 2022.