Friday, 29 February 2008

West Hampstead Interchange: It's back

Following a tip-off from reader THC that First Capital Connect are reviving the West Hampstead Interchange plans, I've spent the last couple of weeks bugging First Capital Connect's press office, and today they came through with some details:

  • West Hampstead station will be rebuilt with lifts, a new entrance, ticket gates and cycle parking. I'd think the entrance will be further south.
  • The pavement on the west side of West End Lane will be widened and the road crossing to the Jubilee Line will be improved.
  • The North London Line station will get a "modified entrance" and lifts.
  • There will be two "associated mixed use developments" to pay for it, which they also say will "improve the public realm".
The timescale given is 2011. In the mean time, they plan platform canopy renewals, extra information screens and and canopies over the ticket machines (and one extra) during this year.

This is far less ambitious then the previous plans, which were championed by Chiltern Railways, and potentially included a rebuilt tube station with Chiltern and Metropolitan Line platforms, relocating the NLL and Thameslink stations to the east side of the road, and an off-street interchange bridge between them.


Anonymous said...

With the new London Overground service, this would be a great time to improve the interchange here. To be honest, interchange between LU and LO is already acceptable, with one road to cross that has a pelican crossing.

The Thameslink station was always the weak link, especially as its entrance was on the "wrong" side of the station itself.

These plans seem fine - though if you are going to make access to LO and FCC step-free, shouldn't you do the same with the LU station..?

Robert C, West Hampstead said...

No the proposals are not fine. They are cheap and shabby and show just how poorly the whole privatised rail system is planning for the future. They do not separate out pedestrians and traffic, do not create step-free access from the tube and do not bring in a connection with the Chiltern line as was proposed before. First Capital Connect has obviously cobbled them together in someone's lunch hour using a photocopier. We need PROPER investment, now.

THC said...

I have to side with Robert C here. Surely any meaningful interchange at West Hampstead will provide a seamless connection between the different lines passing under West End Lane and add Chiltern (and even the Metropolitan line) to the mix. Disappointing but in fairness it's not up to FCC to drive the overall scheme; that's one for TfL, LB Camden and the TOCs to pursue in partnership.

Thanks though for following this through, Mr T; your mining skills are much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I disagree with Rob C in that I fail to see how money spent providing bridges and new platforms to provide what the pavement currently provides fairly adequately is a wise investment.

I would far prefer that money to go towards *new* tranport links around town.

Make all the stations step free, move the thameslink entrance, widen the pavements, then start buidling new railways, trams where they are needed!!

Robert C said...

Perhaps anonymous did not see the horrendous accident that recently occurred at precisely the spot where FCC are planning to funnel thousands more people across heavy traffic. A man was crushed under a lorry and lost his leg. We need a proper interchange funded by a fully-planned redevelopment scheme for the railway lands around West Hampstead. Time for Tfl, Chiltern Railways and Camden Council to pull their fingers out!

Anonymous said...

Better interchanges allow the existing rail network to be used much more efficiently; i.e. people experience quicker journeys but the trains travel the same distance. West Hampstead needs platforms for the Metropolitan and Chiltern lines. This will reduce journey times for passengers crossing north west London and reduce congestion at central stations such as Kings Cross. Similar interchanges should be created at South Acton, Hackney, Brixton, Brockley, Loughborough Junction, Tufnell Park, Primrose Hill/Chalk Farm etc. to facilitate orbital journeys.