New homes for Brixton – but what of a new interchange and station?

Plans for new homes and market spaces between rail lines in Brixton town centre are currently being developed by Hondo Enterprise in partnership with architects Adjaye Associates

Site of new block between rail lines

The plans would see a new block built on Pope’s Lane along with market stalls. It follows controversial plans to redevelop other market stalls in the area by Network Rail which saw businesses displaced. The company are now selling all their commercial spaces across the country.

Base of block with commercial space

This spot on Pope’s Road is a narrow site between two rail lines yet there’s no mention of improvements to the adjacent Southeastern rail station nor TfL’s plans for a new London Overground station. Combining the two could see a major new interchange for south London.

The current Southeastern station sees far less use than the nearby Victoria Line tube. Even accounting for higher frequencies and increased destinations across London on the Victoria Line, rail passenger numbers appear very low.

Courtesy Google. Southeastern station entrance

Brixton tube station saw 27 million passengers in 2013 rising to 33 million in 2017.

In contrast the railway station – just six minutes from Victoria station – saw a modest increase of 900k in 2013 rising to 1.3 million in 2017.

The station is two minutes from the tube just off the High Street but far from inviting.

In addition, pretty much every station on the line lacks barriers so numbers are likely to be under-counted.

Courtesy Google. Looking towards station entrance stairway

There’s obvious scope to improve the area – and with platform constraints along the line modern walk-though stock rather than longer trains would be needed to increase capacity. The ongoing Southeastern franchise delay scuppers mid-to-long term planning right now.

Adjacent Atlantic Road makes it hard for work on entrances to happen, yet in March this year money was awarded to transform the road. This could permit a rebuild of the station entrance.

Campaigns for a separate London Overground station have seen calls for East Brixton station to re-open. It closed in 1976 and was located between Denmark Hill and Clapham High street.

London Overground interior

Concerns over capacity have arisen regarding improved links. London Overground cannot easily extend beyond five carriages and already use high density walk-through trains. Southeastern on the other hand, while limited to eight carriages, do not use high capacity stock with rows of three seats still in use.

Southeastern stock used

Whether much will happen anytime soon is the key question and I wouldn’t get hopes up too much. A 10 year old masterplan recognised problems but little has changed despite numerous large developments in the area.

A minor spruce up seems likely but comprehensive change to enable step-free access and enhanced ticket halls for the existing station, let alone a new London Overground station and interchange seem some way off.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    5 thoughts on “New homes for Brixton – but what of a new interchange and station?

    • Brixton station is rundown and unpleasant to use. It’s a long way up to the platform and there is neither lift nor escalator. Further, there being no stop for South Eastern or London Overground trains at Brixton is a serious inconvenience. I don’t often go to Brixton since the journey from Lewisham is so long.

    • Brixton National Rail Station is not only unpleasant but also dangerous to use. I never use it unless it is during busy hours owing to the risk of violence. The whole station area is a disgrace and probably one of the most run down in central London. Until and unless National Rail improve the station and make it safer it will remain under-used. As a result this places greater pressure on the Victoria line which is already one of London’s busiest. The South Eastern franchise is not working and we need to see the line transferred to a London Overground and a joined up approach linking the line with the nearby the station and re-opening of East Brixton.

    • Reopening East Brixton Overground Station would make a huge difference to commuters and would give much needed easier access from Brixton to East London and the city

      The line between Clapham High St and Denmark Hill is a very long stretch between two stations and could easily accommodate a stop at Brixton

    • It seems bizarre that there is no London Overground station for Brixton as there is currently no rail link between Brixton and and other suburbs to the east such as Peckham. The only public transport linking such a major hub as Brixton to these eastern suburbs is the very slow bus service.

    • Not only does the Overground not stop here, but in addition all trains going north from Brixton go straight to Victoria, which is utterly absurd: no changing for example with the line going through Clapham Junction. This is so obviously racism in practice: obviously the stupidest and least assertive train managers and network planners have been assigned to this sector of London because it is still a largely Afro-Caribbean neighbourhood, and there are fewer white people with sharp elbows who have to be listened to.


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