Plumstead station accessibility works revised – heritage features saved

Revised plans are in from Network Rail for the installation of lifts to improve access to Plumstead station.

Many heritage elements threatened in former applications are now saved.

Images included in the latest submission show the new location of lift shafts from street level down to platforms.

Proposed lift shaft located beside station building

Previous proposals had caused controversy given Network Rail sought to remove the footbridge linking platforms 1 and 2.

View from bridge

The Positive Plumstead Project had campaigned against Network Rail’s plan to remove many attractive elements of the station.

Footbridge sign at Plumstead

Network Rail first submitted a plan some years ago under the Access for All project which “involved replacing the existing bridge with a new bridge, and two new liftshafts with stair access to the bridges.

This was refused due to the impact it would have on the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

Subsequently another Prior Approval application was made for the same design, with greater justification for the design. The Council reconsidered it and it was approved.”

However those ideas have now been dropped for the station serving Thameslink and Southeastern services.

Plumstead station

The first sign of revised thinking came in early 2022, with the latest submission recently uploaded to Greenwich Council’s Planning Portal showing slightly reworked elements.

“Since the approval of the previous design, during the detailed design process, significant constructability challenges have become apparent:

– Potential settlement and damage to adjacent properties
– Extensive piling and excavation required due to constructing on an embankment
– Major passenger interference and disruption and the need for a temporary footbridge to maintain access.” 


Plumstead station opened 10 years after the rest of the line and served the eastern end of the Royal Arsenal site.

This is what Network Rail had proposed:

Planned bridge at Plumstead station

The ensured the complete removal of an existing bridge, original steps from the ticket office and canopy which would have been partially or entirely removed:


The attractive 1892 footbridge was added more than 30 years after the station first opened. The station retains much of its original design including the canopy and brick station building which is unlike others along the line.

Arches at platform level below the ticket office are another unique feature at the station.

Network Rail plan for the lift to Platform 1 to be located at an area currently behind a fence between the station building and bridge.

Proposed lift shaft located beside station building

The campaign against previous plans also highlighted that the current station has pinch points which would have remained under prior plans.

Relocating the lift shaft can help alleviate that issue offering tow points of entrance and exit when heading towards central London:

Render from outside station. Level surface access to lift possible from where image taken

The application can be viewed by clicking here.

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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.

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