Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Plumstead, Transport

Plumstead station rebuild revealed

Plumstead station could look like this after forthcoming changes

Network Rail have submitted plans to partially rebuild Plumstead station including improving accessibility with the addition of lifts to both platforms.

The program is funded by the Department for Transport under the Access for All scheme.

Though very welcome it’s a shame not to incorporate the existing main Victorian bridge span. Also, the scheme is pretty limited in scope. No work is planned on the main building.

Passenger numbers have recently risen above 1.5 million a year yet staffing at Plumstead is minimal and the station lacks ticket gates so official numbers are likely an underestimate.

The plans do not address staffing or gatelines. A lack of staffing sometimes closes the ticket office at peak times. No additional staffing would not aid with helping people in the lifts or preventing vandalism.

Not addressing staffing levels alongside work is due to the convoluted web of management under the UK’s franchised rail network aside from exceptions such as TfL’s Overground network. The DfT fund upgrades but only set staffing at franchise award time. Southeastern follow what they say.

One of the hopes for a TfL takeover was a unified system with London Overground running trains on the line to Dartford. TfL could increase staffing levels and times to protect revenue and reduce fare evasion and do so in a more flexible and responsive manner than franchises let by the DfT.

Cluttered exterior of station

Now Chris Grayling has blocked a TfL takeover of the line in 2018 the DfT will once again set the franchise for up to 10 years. They will dictate staffing and gateline installation, or not. They’ve previously shown minimal interest in Southeastern suburban routes.

And if demand spikes three years into a franchise? There’s little chance of flexible responses.

As for improvement work outside the station relating to the Housing Zone announced years ago? Well, still no word.


  1. Mike Snowden

    The “Street furniture” outside is some of the worst around – visually terribly confusing.

    Hopefully the bridge will not be too weak this time – assuming, of course, that the rumour that this was/is a complete fake isn’t true, merely to try and divert people onto the Thamesmead Spine road.

  2. Jon

    Has the existing bridge been removed in those photos? I can’t quite tell. Even if it’s not the step-free route, it seems a shame to remove it. Perhaps required for the installation of gates?

    • fromthemurkydepths

      There’s no plans for gates. That could change with next franchise but requires the DfT to specify. But there’s little change in the secondary entrance/exit area size. The images are renders of the finished scheme subject to colour with the current span removed.

      • Jon

        Do you know the status of this? The planning application was apparently refused in December 2017.

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