By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter
A train station could be transformed to make it more accessible for disabled and elderly people.
Wandsworth council and Network Rail are working on plans to create step-free access at Battersea Park Station, which is the closest train station to the new Battersea Power Underground Station on the Northern line.
The council said the station has “steep and unsuitable stairwell access” to the platforms and needs to be improved to provide “acceptable access” to train services for an increased number of residents and visitors.
The scheme preferred by the council proposes a redesigned station with its main entrance at Queens Circus and step-free access from the street to the platforms. The preferred option was reported to the council’s executive in 2021.
The report said the council will enter into an agreement with Network Rail so this extra work can be completed.
The report said the station is expected to see a “significant increase” in passenger numbers due to the level of new development in the area, including the newest town centre in the Wandsworth borough at Battersea Power Station.
It said a new step-free station would “help deliver better access for the wider existing community, including elderly and disabled people”.
The current budget for the scheme is £20million, including £17million from development contributions provided through the council and £3million to £4million from Department for Transport (DfT) Access for All funding for step-free access schemes.
The cost of the preferred scheme has previously been estimated to be £35.6million, including a 40 per cent contingency.
The report said there is an “element of risk to the council” in taking the project forward and that a “significant cost will need to be removed from the scheme” to make it affordable.
But it said Network Rail “believes that it can significantly reduce the implementation cost of the scheme, such that it can be made affordable” and that the company had also identified potential extra funding.
A Wandsworth council spokesperson said: “The council has been working with Network Rail on the development of a significant improvement scheme for Battersea Park Station, which would deliver a new, reconfigured station with step-free access.
“The station currently has steep and unsuitable stairwell access to the platforms and needs improvement works if it is to provide acceptable access to rail transport services for an increased number of residents and visitors.”
Network Rail has been contacted for comment.
Pictured top: Battersea Park Station (Picture: Google Street View)
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