Elephant & Castle Rail Station in line for £18m makeover

Plans to install lifts to the platforms at Elephant & Castle's Thameslink rail station are to get a boost with Southwark Council allocating £350,000 of developers' funding for design work.

Elephant & Castle Rail Station in line for £18m makeover

With work on an upgraded tube station for Elephant & Castle now under way - part-funded by £71.5 million of community infrastructure levy (CIL) from local developments - the mainline railway station has remained the poor relation, being the only zone 1 Thameslink station not to provide step-free access between platform and street.

A year ago train operator Thameslink carried out a survey of passengers to gauge views about a potential revamp for the station.

Last year the Walworth Society also received a presentation from Network Rail and local architect Benedict O'Looney about possible improvements to Elephant & Castle Station but the overriding message was that no funding had yet been found for the works.

Next week Southwark Council's cabinet is due to approve the allocation of £350,000 from the 'strategic CIL' pot to "as a grant to Network Rail to invest in design work for Elephant & Castle overground station".

The council report adds: "This forward funding would help ensure that the design is developed in parallel with the implementation of the proposals for Elephant and Castle town centre. 

"Due to the expected increased footfall at the station Network Rail are looking to improve the station facilities by improving accessibility to all four platforms whilst also creating a larger station concourse and installing ticket gates. 

"The entrance will be made fully accessible. This will be of great benefit to local residents, allowing passengers with mobility issues and those with heavy luggage or prams to access the station from both the north and south sides. 

"The estimated total scheme cost is £18 million".

In her foreword to next week's cabinet report, Cllr Helen Dennis, cabinet member for new homes and sustainable development, said: "Empowered by the Planning Act 2008, we introduced Southwark CIL in 2014 to ensure that developers in our borough rightly contribute to the infrastructure needs that flow from growth, with 70 per cent of CIL dedicated to Strategic projects.

"To date, we have been able to invest over £70 milion via this route in the Elephant & Castle tube upgrade, providing a new step-free station and integrating the Northern line with the Bakerloo Line and its anticipated extension. 

"Having met our commitments to this project, we are now proposing an expanded framework for the use of Strategic CIL moving forward, focusing on strategic, borough-wide infrastructure, including wider transport projects that will bring huge benefits to existing residents and support our targets on house-building which are set out in the Southwark Plan."

She added: "Delivering these projects will require partnership and funding from all parties, including from central government. Southwark is committed to making the strategic investment required to deliver sustainable growth and we very much hope that others will join us to deliver our ambitious plans."

Tags: Transport, Elephant & Castle, Politics & local government, Planning & Development, Southwark

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