Clapham Junction station isn’t known for its great atmosphere or genial ambience. Commuters who use it are familiar with being trapped like sardines at ticket barriers, sweating up stairs and slopes, and cramming on to platforms. It’s dissed for being dirty, overcrowded and lacking proper facilities, so a bit of a glow-up is way overdue.
Luckily for commuters, London’s hardest-working and least glamorous station is set to get a major revamp, with plans for improved facilities including new shops, cafés and more space for passengers. Clapham Junction is arguably the UK’s busiest rail station: although it’s only seventh for arrivals and departures, with 8.5 million a year, it’s way ahead for interchanges, with almost 7 million a year, more than twice as many as its nearest rival, London Bridge.
The newest entrance (Brighton Yard), which sits opposite a Peabody Estate, will be rejigged to add more ticket barriers to reduce congestion, increasing the current five gates to eight. There will also be improvements to the toilets and baby changing facilities, something we can all be thankful for.
Works are already underway, with repainting of the overbridge and safety improvements, and Network Rail is about to start on the second of its three-phase upgrade, and that’ll mean changes to the entrance building. The second phase will cost around £15.5m, with the grand makeover costing Network Rail approximately £35m in total.
Christian Neill, South Western Railway’s customer experience director, said: ‘Clapham Junction is one of the busiest and most important stations on our network, so we welcome this significant investment, which will help reduce congestion and make the station more attractive and accessible for customers.’
He added: ‘It has been fantastic to see the improvements made to date and we look forward to our customers seeing the full results of this £35m programme of work when it completes.’