Fears that E&C's new tube station could become 'white elephant'

A TfL meeting has heard fears that the rebuilt Elephant & Castle tube station could become a 'white elephant' that is partially constructed but not able to be used by passengers.

Fears that E&C's new tube station could become 'white elephant'

Preliminary work on a new entrance for Elephant & Castle Underground Station - including escalators to replace the current lift access - is already under way and could be complete by 2030, but there's still a funding gap for the final tranche of works that would allow passengers to actually use the station.

Speaking at a meeting of Transport for London's programmes and investment committee on Wednesday, David Rowe, interim director of investment delivery planning, noted that actually finishing the new station - including fitting the escalators - is "potentially going to need some public sector contribution" in addition to the money already contributed by developers responsible for major schemes at the Elephant & Castle.

Committee member Peter Strachan remarked he had recently used Elephant & Castle Station and got lost when changing between the Tube and Thameslink.

He added: "What we don't want to end up with here is a white elephant - pun intended - of a box without a station in it because I think that would be a bad place."

Robert Niven, TfL's head of investment delivery planning, told the meeting that uncertainties about TfL's funding had put the wider Elephant & Castle regeneration programme at risk, but splitting the tube station work into two phases had enabled the shopping centre site development to proceed.

He told the committee that the arrangement would enable TfL "at some point in the future, [to find] the funding to come back and be able to fit out the station out and bring it into use, but with no timescale or obligation to do so within a certain time period".

TfL is currently looking at ways of cutting costs for the final phase of the station works to make the scheme more affordable.

Tags: Transport, Elephant & Castle, Planning & Development

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