Lewisham Deptford MP, Rt Hon Joan Ruddock, joined Network Rail and the deputy mayor of Lewisham council to mark the start of major upgrade of Deptford station which will improve accessibility and the overall travelling experience for passengers.
Ms Ruddock said: “This is a very happy day for me. After years of complaints from residents I set up a Deptford Station roundtable to bring all the rail operators, developers and council together. After a decade of campaigning it’s happening at last. Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved.”
Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route director for Kent, said: “Providing easier access and better facilities at stations is a vital part of building a bigger and better railway to better meet the needs of passengers and businesses. The improvements to Deptford will bring long-lasting benefits for the passengers who use it for more than 700,000 journeys every day.”
Alan Smith, deputy mayor and cabinet member for regeneration at Lewisham Council, said: “The new railway station is a key element in our plans for Deptford’s regeneration. The idea is not only to update and upgrade the station for the benefit of local residents and businesses but also to create an excellent first impression for people visiting this increasingly attractive part of the borough.
“We plan to install lifts, glass facades, improve lighting and extend canopies to provide better protection from the weather. The station will lead onto a new public space created on the site of the currently-derelict station yard off Deptford High Street. This will allow access to the Victorian railway arches which will be converted to provide studio space for local artists.”
The upgrade, which is being funded jointly by Lewisham Council and through the national stations improvement programme includes:
Constructing a new station building, including modern ticket office, accessible ticket window and improved passenger information.
Installing two new lifts to create step-free access between the station entrance and platforms. The existing stairways will also be refurbished to make them easier to use.
Extending the canopies along both platforms so passengers can wait under cover during bad weather.
The station and key facilities will remain open to passengers with minimal disruption throughout the construction.
The work, which is being delivered by VolkerFitzpatrick on behalf of Lewisham Council, is expected to be completed by spring 2012.
Jim Munro, contracts manager at VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “We are delighted to be starting work at Deptford Station. The new, modern entrance will significantly improve accessibility for local residents and visitors, whilst the sensitive restoration of the arches and carriage ramp, which date back to the 1830’s, will also ensure the station retains some of its rich history.
“Some night time works will be required when we need to work on the railway line itself; this must be done at a time to minimise train disruption. Local residents will be informed of any out of hours works well in advance.”
Vince Lucas, service delivery director, Southeastern, added: “This new development is great news for passengers using Deptford. The new station will not only help those using the station but also for the local community and will help attract regeneration to the area. Being only 10 minutes from Cannon Street the whole area is set for a boost.”