It’s been a while, but there’s finally a little bit of progress on the planned new entrance to Queenstown Road station. The Battersea Exchange development that’s funding it is complete, but in February last year we noted that things had gone rather quiet on the station works. They essentially mean a new entrance will be created at the back of the station building (which is the one outlined yellow in this photo) –
Creating a second entrance at the back of the station has been part of the project from the start. It was designed to improve transport access to the new flat, so residents can get to the station without having to walk along busy and traficky section of Queenstown Road. It will mean commuters can get between Queenstown Road & Battersea Park stations along a straight-line and pedestrian-friendly route.
The plans will allow passage through the station (during opening hours) for non-ticketholders, which means people heading from (say) the Shaftesbury estate can ‘cut the corner’ by going through the foyer of Queenstown Road (shown in yellow below) and get through to Battersea Park station, the school & the new small branch of Sainsbury’s at the base of the white tower.
This photo shows the currently-rather-messy back yard of the station as it is now, as seen from the new road Patcham Terrace (i.e. the right hand side of the yellow square in the map above). The new entrance will be at the back left, which means opening up a new door in the building. There’s a bit of a height change as well (about ten steps). The original plans were to fit stairs, as well as a small lift, next to each other in behind the low wall (which would be removed to create the entrance).
Sadly the headline that there’s ‘progress’ doesn’t mean that work has started! But updated plans have been submitted to take a slightly different approach to the design – dropping the lift altogether and simplifying things by just having a wider staircase. The lift is being removed from the plans because it meant the staircase alongside it was too narrow to meet Network Rail’s minimum standards for safe access to the station. We presume not having a lift will also make the whole thing cheaper to build and operate, with relatively little impact on overall accessibility given that the rest of the station in any case has loads of stairs and no lifts.
A few other minor changes are being made, including not bothering to have a door at the bottom of the stairs (which seems fairly sensible – bearing in mind that the station is pretty much open air anyway and there’ll be a security gate at the top of the steps). A small glass shelter will be included at the bottom of the steps to keep rain out of the station building. The floorplan diagram below shows the new access route in yellow (with Queenstown Road entrance at the bottom of the photo), and the new Patcham Terrace entrance at the top.
This photo shows the current ticket hall – the new way through will emerge where the left hand white door is now, just to the left of the ticket machines.
Precise timings for the works are still uncertain – but the fact that updated plans have gone in after well over a year of radio silence is a good sign that the project is not completely forgotten, and still on track to happen at some point. As a relatively cheap project with obvious benefits for Taylor Wimpey’s development (making it have rather better access, especially for the new office and retail units), and some benefits for Network Rail in terms of general station access, it seems likely that this will go ahead in the not too distant future. Strictly speaking the planning application is way past its decision date (even though no actual decision seems to have been taken) – if you want to see the details or comment search for application 2020/4812 at the Wandsworth planning website.