Passengers using London Victoria station can look forward to easier journeys in future as Network Rail begins a £30m investment to reduce congestion on platforms and at ticket gates.
Work involves creating more space on the concourse and increasing the total number of ticket gates from 86 to 111, including eight new wide (accessible) gates, to speed up people’s journeys through the station and improve accessibility for people with reduced mobility, luggage or pushchairs.
Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail’s stations director, said: “We’re really excited to see this work get underway. Putting people first is at the heart of everything we do and that starts from the moment they walk through the door.
“Victoria is one of London’s busiest stations and a gateway to Gatwick Airport and the South Coast so investing in creating an enlarged Sussex concourse and increasing the number of ticket gates available will help everyone to feel more comfortable; setting us up well as passengers return to the railway during a busy summer season. We’re really pleased to be able to make this investment in improving the service we offer all our passengers.”
Wendy Morton, Department for Transport’s rail minister, said: “I am delighted to see these upgrades at London Victoria station, a true cornerstone and hub of the capital. These improvements, funded by the Department for Transport, will make travel easier, more comfortable, and more accessible for millions of passengers.”
The station concourse area that serves platforms 15 to 19 will be opened up and expanded, and a spacious access route will be created between platform 14 and the existing escalators to the Victoria Place shopping centre.
To create more space for additional ticket gates, and wider routes between the concourse and platforms, the Gatwick Express ticket windows will be moved to a more prominent position, while some retail units will be repositioned elsewhere in the station.
Angie Doll, chief operating officer for Govia Thameslink, which runs Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “We’re delighted with Network Rail’s improvements to the layout of the station, opening up space for our passengers to get to and from their trains more quickly and comfortably, as well as moving Gatwick Express’s dedicated ticket windows to a more visible position on the main concourse.”
Jason Clarke, area manager for Southeastern, said: “As passengers return to our railway, we need to make sure we’ve designed Victoria station, still the second busiest in the whole of Great Britain, to make the best use of the space available. We know all of our passengers will appreciate these improvements which are being done at a time that will inconvenience the least number of people.”
To minimise overall disruption to passengers, the work will be carried out alongside the London Victoria resignalling project, a major programme of signalling upgrades on the south London lines into London Victoria. This means the most disruptive work will happen when there are fewer or no passenger services running at the station, as lines will be closed.
Work on the project is set to get underway from this September, starting with the relocation of the Gatwick Express ticket office. This will be followed by work on the Kent gatelines (platforms 1-7) in November and the Sussex gatelines later in the year. The work is due for completion in late 2023.