TfL has agreed to a deal that will see a brand new entrance built for the Elephant and Castle station, but it will remain an empty concrete box until TfL is able to afford to complete it.

Provisional design for the new ticket hall (c) Delancey/TfL

There is an existing agreement with Delancey, the developer of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre site for Delancey to build an underground box for the new entrance. This is a method that’s been used before, where TfL takes advantage of a large development to improve station access by having the developer pay for and build the underground box for a station entrance, then TfL comes in afterwards and fits it out for public use, such as happened at Bank and Waterloo in recent years.

However, the agreements for Elephant and Castle had been signed before the pandemic and required TfL to commit to covering the cost of fitting out the box before Delancey started work on its side of the agreement. At the moment, TfL is not able to make that financial commitment, and in theory, that meant the legal agreement for the developer to build the underground box might not be enforceable.

Everyone locally wants the new entrance, including the developer, so TfL and Delancey have agreed to amend the agreement and split it into two phases — the first is building the box and tunnels, and the second to come later is the fit-out works.

That however requires a change to the Section 106 Agreement that was agreed with Southwark Council. TfL says that talks between the parties are supportive, so it’s likely that this will be a simple formality to make the change.

Delancy will build the huge concrete box for the new station entrance, while TfL will build the connecting tunnels — with the cost for the tunnels paid for by existing third-party funding agreements. All told, this will cost just under £94 million. But so far, won’t have cost TfL anything. Then once all this is built, which is expected to be in 2027, unless TfL has the funding, the whole site will be locked up and left empty until TfL can afford the fit-out costs of turning it into a functioning station.

When it opens, it will replace the existing Northern line ticket hall and will also include space for three more escalators to be added later down to the Bakerloo line extension, when that is eventually built.

A meeting of TfL’s Programmes and Investment Committee will debate the plans next week.

3D plan of proposed station (c) Delancey/TfL

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5 comments
  1. Tim says:

    Given that the opportunity to do work of this nature will not arise again until the new shopping centre is demolished, this is an entirely sensible outcome.

  2. If London is ever to have a fully accessible underground then taking advantage of developments to build new station entrances etc. Needs to be taken of even if funding for fit out is not available at the time the expensive bit is the civil engineering to build the stations.

    While given some of the restricted historic stations in London building a new entrance nearby with modern escalators and lift access using over site development makes sense given sometimes it’s just a matter of digging a bit deeper especially on sub surface network.

  3. JP Maytum says:

    It’s just a pity that the huge opportunity of the Elephant redevelopment hasn’t been used to improve links between the Tube and the rail station. Given its location on the Thameslink network, Elephant had the potential to be a really important rail/tube interchange at the south of the city.

  4. JP says:

    Given your usual measured tone, whilst mentioning that both sides are mindful to go ahead with the necessary changes, I can feel happy that it will be done, can I? That common sense and the common good are to be realised? It would appear so.
    Cynicism be damned, there are still pockets of decent humanity to be found in the big bad world of business. Hoorah to all that!

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