London’s transport authority has unveiled new plans to rebuild Camden Town tube station in north London.
Under Transport for London’s plans the London Underground stop would gain a second exit on a nearby street, better disabled access, and more space.
Camden Town, a popular nightlife, market, and tourism hotspot, suffers from overcrowding, especially on weekends when passengers are often turned away for safety reasons or made to use spiral staircases.
TfL says passenger numbers at the station have increased by 60 per cent in the last decade and the organisation has produced drawings of what the new station could look like.
The station would gain a second, wide entrance on nearby Buck Street to ease traffic at the current entrance.
“The station needs improving so that it can properly support the vibrant local community and economy,” TfL’s consultation says.
“A possible site for a new station entrance would be on Buck Street, between Camden High Street and Kentish Town Road. It would lead to three new escalators and two lifts.
“Below ground there would be more space to change between trains. This would in turn enable future capacity benefits on the Northern line.”
The suggestion of capacity improvements on the Northern Line could be a hint that TfL wants to separate the two-pronged system into two separate lines at a future date.
Such a move would require more people to change trains at Camden Town but would currently be unworkable because of capacity constraints.
Splitting the Northern Line into two separate lines would allow TfL to increase capacity on the line significantly because under the current configuration trains are currently split between two destinations.
The consultation is the first stage in a plan that would not see the station fully rebuilt until 2023 at the earliest.
TfL’s timescale for the station rebuild includes a year-long public inquiry in 2018, with a Government decision coming in 2019 and the commencement of works.
The transport authority says that if the plans to do not ahead by 2031, demand at Camden Town will exceed what the station can handle by 7,000 in the mornings and 12,000 in the evenings
A second public consultation will be held next year with new plans based on feedback received from this consultation.
The site for the proposed second entrance is also currently occupied by a primary school, which is due to move elsewhere in coming years.
Previous proposals to rebuild the station were rejected by Camden Borough Council and the Department for Transport in 2005.
The council objected to the controversial plan on the grounds that it would destroy the area’s heritage by changing the station entrance.
The new plans propose the second entrance on another street with different architecture, however.
The area is likely to face significant building work over the current decade, with heavy construction traffic from nearby Euston expected because of the planned High Speed 2 rail link.
One of the area's famous markets is also currently undergoing a significant redevelopment.
You can respond to Transport for London's initial consultation on the organisation's website.
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