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Old June 2nd 18, 08:32 PM posted to uk.transport.london
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Default Walthamstow Central Underground Station Upgrade

On Monday, 28 May 2018 18:58:14 UTC+1, Robin9 wrote:
I've just received the latest Waltham Forest Council propaganda leaflet,
a contemptible, self-congratulating misuse of public money that arrives
every few weeks.

This edition has a front page story about how TfL is spending £ 15
million to improve Walthamstow Central Station. I use the station
sometimes and I find it works very well. I've certainly never thought
it needed a big upgrade. The propaganda leaflet quotes local residents
greeting the news with enthusiasm, commenting that the station is a
nightmare during the rush hour.

I'm sceptical but I don't travel at peak times very often. However, as
TfL is short of money at present, is this project the most sensible use
of scarce financial resources?


Walthamstow Central has long been in the top 10 highest bus to tube interchanges in London. It is pressured at peak times largely because the stairs / entrances are narrow and despite changing the gateline positions there are very heavy flows down to trains. This becomes a logjam when a train from Chingford arrives. I should hasten to add that this is how it was a fair number of years ago. Like you I've not experienced the worst of the peak in recent times. What I would add is that the high frequency Vic Line service has driven considerable growth on the route. It is now not unusual in the PM peak to see blocking back from escalators at all north end stations with more people piling into the queue as trains deposit people every 100 seconds.

The single escalator up or down is the biggest issue for me - the fixed staircase really needs replacing with an extra escalator. We also have the utter nonsense of lifts from street to ticket hall but not to platform level. I understand the plan is to build a basement level to the new expanded Selborne Walk development which would form a ticket hall level with possible escalators and a lift down to platform level but away from the existing escalator bank. I just had a look at the planning application documents and a letter from TfL which confirms the priority is to safeguard space under the expanded Selborne Walk and to provide step free access initially. The possibility of a second full entrance would be for the future. It says demand at WW Central has risen 25% over the last 5 years. On that basis I'd say the peaks are pretty horrible.

It's clear that £15m doesn't buy you much and the developer was said to be putting up only £1.5m (as at last Dec). That buys you nothing in terms of physical construction - might get you through the planning and design phases. I assume, given the fanfares, that the developer has "agreed" to construct an appropriate basement and possibly a lift shaft but I doubt it's much more. TfL would have to find much more money to get something to a stage where it was usuable. And a second entrance is mega bucks - tens of millions. The TfL letter also says a second escalator is needed in the early 2020s but that is unfunded.

Hard to say if spending the money is a "waste" *if* it ensures that future expansion is possible given there is little scope to grow the station in any other direction.

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Paul C
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Old June 3rd 18, 10:36 PM
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I normally access Walthamstow Central from the Barclays Bank side and use the route to the bus station only when returning home. I'll go to the station in the morning rush hour one day this week and see how bad everything is. (The joys of being retired and having spare time!)


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