Surbiton station is getting a revamp with a new footbridge and eight ticket gates to stop overcrowding – and commuters say it’s “brilliant”.
It’s part of a £6.7 million Network Rail project to reduce overcrowding and improve passenger safety and is hoped to make station journeys 31 per cent faster.
Between October 2021 and May 2022, a new deck will be added to the existing footbridge at the end of platforms 3 and 4, along with eight additional ticket gate lines, accessed by a new staircase.
Local Surbiton commuter, Sanela Jordamovic, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the new deck will be “brilliant”.
The 50-year-old added: “We’ve been waiting for that for years. The only difference is because people are not travelling to London as much, it’s probably not the best time but it’s good news.”
(Image: James Mayer)
Debbie Kapodistria, a 36-year-old architect visiting Surbiton on business said: “It’s quite sensitive because this is an old building so it has to be done very carefully.”
She added: “If it helps the commuters every day and it also helps safety of the people who are coming in and out of the platforms, then it’s definitely much needed infrastructure and is very important for big cities.”
Michael Heather, a commuter, said: “If it helps people get in and out of the station quicker then it’s good.”
The 39-year-old added: “It’s definitely a good investment as sometimes it’s a bit crowded in the mornings.”
Michael is from Walton-on-Thames and said he uses Surbiton to go shopping. Network Rail say Surbiton is the eighth busiest station on the Wessex route.
(Image: James Mayer)
According to the Office of Rail and Road, between 2019 and 2020, 8.79 million passengers entered and exited with a further 691,452 passengers changing between services.
This number of passengers often causes congestion on platforms 3 and 4 during evening peaks, as passengers queue to exit the station using a single set of stairs, say Network Rail.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “These queues can prevent trains from leaving on time and cause delays to South Western Railway (SWR) services towards Guildford, Hampton Court and Woking.
“It is estimated that the proposed improvements will make journeys at the station as much as 31 per cent faster.”
The station building is a famous local landmark with its Art Deco style, dating back to its rebuilding in 1937 using designs by the chief architect of the Southern Railway, James Robb Scott.
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The spokesman added: “In October 1983 it was made a Grade II listed structure by Historic England, marking it as an ‘important building of special interest’.
“We have taken great care to plan our improvements and have worked closely with, among others, the Railway Heritage Trust and Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to develop our designs and construction methodology.”
Cllr Liz Green, Liberal Democrat councillor for St Mark’s, said: “We are delighted this work is happening. The congestion on platforms 3/4 is dangerous to passenger safety, especially if two trains arrive at the same time during rush hour.
“We have been campaigning for this second staircase since 2018 so definitely welcome this improvement.
“Additionally we have had confirmation that public access from one side of the railway to the other will be maintained throughout the building works.”