Network Rail have released a new set of reports related to their long-term planning process, which looks at the UK’s rail network over the years to come. There are a few interesting details in there related to Denmark Hill and the mooted Camberwell station.
First of all it’s notable that Denmark Hill has been marked as one of the stations with highest priority for funds to relieve overcrowding—anyone who uses the station at rush hour will know this is badly needed.
The main issues identified are congestion on the platforms, stairs and interchange footbridge, and at station entrance / exit gatelines, both in the morning and evening peaks.
Some of the ways they’re looking at to ease congestion are by adding additional gates to the existing entrance/exit; building a new entrance onto Windsor Walk; and encouraging better use of the footbridge. This latter point could be done by relocating the station entrance nearer to the footbridge; by lengthening the platforms to terminate services closer to the footbridge; or by simply covering the footbridge.
By implementing the proposed interventions, it is anticipated that there will be reduced queuing at the bottom of the platform access staircases and decongestion at the main gate lines, with improved passenger safety and reduced passenger walk times.
Obviously some of those are going to be more practical—that is to say, cost less—than others. Whatever changes are made, they are to be “considered for delivery by 2024”—but hopefully well before that.
As for Camberwell station, the report notes that TfL and Southwark council have made the case for reopening it as an alternative to the Bakerloo extension (which, in case you haven’t heard, will be going down the Old Kent Road instead). TfL are working on a business case, supported by Southwark’s Area Vision development plan.
The report notes that impact on timetables on the rest of the line would have to be considered, as well as requiring an updated capacity study in case of crowding. Also, the existing platforms (what’s left of them) don’t currently support the needed 8‑car length, and would need to be capable of possible extension to 12-car length in the future.
TfL’s initial Business Case is expected sometime this year. Meanwhile, Harriet Harman and Helen Hayes have written to transport secretary, Chris Grayling, in support of the project:
The reopening of the station would come as much needed relief to residents of Camberwell, who have suffered from poor transport links for years. The proposal is supported by nearby King’s College Hospital… from whom constraints in local public transport create significant issues in getting staff, patients and visitors to the hospital.
If you want to hear more about the station reopening project, you should head along to the Camberwell Community Council meeting on Thursday, 30th March, 6.30pm, at the Employment Academy on Peckham Road.