New second entrance to Denmark Hill station opens
Overcrowded Denmark Hill Rail Station in south London got a second entrance this morning, which will help ease congestion at peak times and cut travel time to the station for most its passengers.
Denmark Hill Station has an exit on the south side of the station, which opened a decade ago at the time, and a new walkway has been added to improve accessibility. Even then, four standard doors and one wide door in the ticket barrier seemed a mistake, and the ever-increasing number of passengers in the last pre-pandemic years has resulted in congestion at the station.
Sometimes it can take up to 10 minutes to enter or exit the station, and aside from the inconvenience to passengers, there is a safety issue with the crowds on the platforms and on the rather narrow sidewalk outside. from the station.
Opening a second entrance on the other side of the station not only doubles the number of ticket gates, it will, in a few years, reduce the travel time to and from the station, as around two-thirds passengers are approaching the station from the north side and are currently walking to the south entrance. This will remain a problem until around 2023, when a hospital construction site is completed and a closed trail reopens. When the trail opens, most people will walk about 200 yards away from the route.
In the meantime, the new entrance will reduce queues at the station as it is a small detour after the pub when people arrive at the existing entrance to bypass the new entrance.
The new entrance is a gray metal box that matches the design of the other entrance and comes with an external train timetable display screen oriented towards how most people are likely to approach the entrance .
It might not sound causal, but a lot of work has gone into the brick wall which had to be partially demolished for the new entrance to be built and was rebuilt to its original design with doors heritage partly funded by the Railway Heritage Trust.
Inside there are four ticket office doors and a wide door. There is no ticket office in the new entrance, but there are two video help screens on either side of the ticketing barrier that connects to the staffed ticket office. Inside the entrance, the walls were decorated with a mixture of colored and plain white tiles in the shape of a trapezoid based on the Camberwell Brick, a local brand design which was introduced locally in January 2020. A wooden roof and glass windows facing the railroad tracks lighten the effect.
There is also poetry on the glass panels – an excerpt from The Test by Una marson, poet, journalist and activist who lived locally. She was also the BBC’s first black presenter when she joined their overseas service during WWII. There is a blue plaque on his house in nearby Brunswick Park.
A staircase leads up to the walkway leading to the platforms and a ramp goes around the side for those who cannot use the stairs.
Up on the slope, is a new public artwork produced in collaboration with the Camberwell Society and Camberwell Arts, by British Ghanaian artist Godfried Donkor, using traditional Adinkra symbolism from Ghana.
At the bottom of the station, new canopies have been built along three of the platforms where people are more likely to need to wait for trains, with the aim of making it easier for people to distribute themselves along the platform. in bad weather. Solar panels have been added to the roof, which should make the entrance to the new station carbon negative in terms of electricity production.
The overall effect is a station of two halves. Half older with its original ticket office – now a pub – and original stairs and awning, then halfway it gets modern with the ten year old stairs and elevators, and now the new awnings .
The cost of the new entrance and associated works was £ 7.5 million. Structurally, it is a building of modest appearance, but which had to contend with a listed heritage wall and be built on a steep slope. However, the building’s modesty belies its likely impact on the local community which will not only have much less congestion at peak times, but also, when the closed trail reopens – with a £ 1million redevelopment from the Southwark Council – the new entrance will save a lot of walking time for the majority of passengers.
Next to the new entrance is also a large secure area for 85 bicycles, funded in part by Sustrans and local hospitals. Users will need to request a security badge in order to open the door to the bike racks.
The new entrance to Denmark Hill Station was officially opened by Minister of Railways Chris Heaton-Harris, who was joined by local resident Sandi Toksvig and also by actress Danielle Arthur-Kennedy who read the excerpt from a poem in the station.