A new entrance to the Victoria line at Walthamstow Central tube station has been approved by the local council, as part of plans for a major rebuild of the nearby shopping centre. At the moment, the entrance to the railway station is on the southside of a large open space which leads into the town centre. Here is a large bus station, along with rail services for the Victoria line and London Overground, making it a major transport hub for the area.
In recent years, use of the station has risen by a quarter over the past five years, and the Victoria line has just one pair of escalators up to the ticket hall, which is then shared with the Overground, causing congestion at peak hours. The Victoria line platforms also lack any lift access so they are not accessible to people with mobility needs.
What’s now being planned is a new tube station entrance that will sit next right next to the new shopping centre and housing. In addition to doubling the number of escalators, it will include a large lift, and will help draw away a lot of people from the existing shared exit.
The new ticket hall will not have a ticket office, but will have ticket machines, and will come with 6 standard ticket barriers and two wide barriers. There will also be an accessible toilet on the paid side of the ticket barriers.
Based on pre-pandemic use, the station was predicted to have possible peak hour closures in the next few years due to congestion in the escalator to the Victoria line and in the ticket hall. While that crunch point may be delayed due to the pandemic, it will still happen eventually, so building a new entrance now will help prevent that in the future.
The new entrance is not being designed to have a connection — other than via a very inconvenient route down and up again — to the overground platforms and is more an opportunity caused by the shopping centre redevelopment to improve access to the tube platforms and reduce overcrowding at the existing entrance.
TfL is predicting that around 40% of Victoria line passengers at Walthamstow Central station would switch to using the new entrance. The other entrance is still very convenient not just for the Overground, but also the bus station.
Although the planning application for the new station entrance has been approved separately it is contingent on the shopping centre redevelopment being carried out by Capital and Regional (C&R), which has been controversial with a lot of objections to those plans. It has however been approved by the council, and The Mall application will now be referred to the Mayor of London, who will make a final decision on whether planning permission can be granted.
The construction works for the new entrance, at the far end of the Victoria line platforms from the current entrance are not expected to affect the day to day operations of the station.
Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at Transport for London said: “We know how important a new Walthamstow Central station entrance is to local residents and we are pleased our proposals have been approved. We are working closely with the council and developers to progress this station upgrade, which will provide step-free access and a boost to capacity and will keep local residents updated about next steps.”
(note – the images above are artists impressions, and not to be taken literally by anyone wanting to pick them apart looking to find fault with them)