Plans to expand Surrey Quays station on the London Overground have taken a step forward after TfL issued the compulsory purchase order to buy the land it needs.
At the moment, the station entrance is on the south side of a busy road, but new housing developments, and the existing shopping centre are all on the north side.
TfL plans to build a new entrance to the station on the northern side, but needs to buy up a triangular plot of land part of which is empty and part that is car parking. They’ve been in negotiations to buy the land, but they also issued the compulsory purchase order, in case they are unable to secure a deal with the owners.
The car park looks like its associated with the block of flats, but is separate from them, and that added complexity to the negotiations as there’s an informal agreement to let flat owners use the space.
Even without the additional housing being planned, Surrey Quays station suffers from congestion caused by the narrow width of the northbound staircase in the morning peak. Similarly, on the southbound platform crowding is experienced particularly in the evening peak due to the narrow platform width.
The station is also not accessible at the moment to those with mobility needs.
The proposed second entrance at the station provides an additional staircase to each platform from a new ticket hall which would more than double the amount of available vertical circulation. Additional ticket gates are proposed for the existing ticket hall which would increase capacity over the existing three ticket barriers. And lifts will be added at last.
TfL estimates that the new entrance would at least double the capacity for moving passengers between the street and the platforms. They expect that around 60% of passengers will want to use the new entrance.
The new entrance will straddle the tracks, with the larger building on land already owned by TfL and the smaller triangular building on the land they hope to buy.
Although the image above shows the new entrance facing onto a car park, that won’t be there when the housing development takes place – it will be a pedestrianised square. The triangular block doesn’t intend to have an entrance onto the road, but to house stairs and lifts down to the platform. The entrance to the station will face northward to the new housing development.
And yes, they have modelled the impact of covid, but an additional 14,000 homes next door does tend to overwhelm any work from home changes to society.
The station upgrade is expected to cost around £80 million, of which £10 million is coming from the housing developer.