Plans to transform an Underground station in London's museum quarter have moved a step forward.
South Kensington Tube station is one of the busiest in London and used by passengers visiting landmarks such as the Victoria & Albert, Natural History and Science Museums, as well as Royal Albert Hall .
Transport for London (TfL) has been looking to upgrade the station and has announced Native Land as its joint venture partner for the project.
The proposals will mean the Tube station could be upgraded with improvements made to the surrounding area, including the Grade II-listed shopping arcade.
The scheme would also improve access to the pedestrian subway leading to local destinations, including the three museums and Imperial College.
TfL promises the development “will be respectful to the character of the local area”.
The station is one of the busiest in London, with more than 34 million District and Circle and Piccadilly Line passengers every year.
Subject to contracts, TfL will now work with Native Land and its preferred architecture firm, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, to develop proposals for the site.
Consultation and engagement with the local community will happen later this year and, subject to planning permission, the development could be complete in 2022.
What's TfL planning at South Kensington Tube station?
- Step-free access to the District and Circle line platforms via a new entrance on Thurloe Street
- Improved access to the pedestrian subway leading to local destinations including the Science Museum, Imperial College, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum
- A new station entrance at Thurloe Street
- Upgrading of several four storey building at 20-34 Thurloe Street
London Underground managing director Mark Wild said: “South Kensington is a vital station for our customers, providing a link to so many of London’s world-renowned cultural institutions .
“Upgrading the station will make a massive difference for millions of customers every year. Improving the accessibility of our network is enormously important to both the Mayor and to us, and we are determined to continue to make improvements across London.”
The plans have the backing of the Natural History Museum. Director Sir Michael Dixon, who is also co-chairman of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, said: “Today’s announcement marks an important milestone in the transformation of one of the world’s leading cultural areas.
“Three-quarters of our museum’s visitors arrive at South Kensington station, and it is vital that everyone should enjoy a fitting welcome if we are to realise our vision of making the cultural institutions of South Kensington as accessible and inclusive as possible.”
In January 2018, TfL was granted Listed Building Consent by Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for proposals to upgrade South Kensington station.
Designed by architects Weston Williamson, the upgrade work would include rebuilding a new eastbound District and Circle Line platform, and expanding the ticket hall and gate line to facilitate quicker, more pleasant journeys for customers using the station.
This work is due to start in spring this year.
The proposals do not include step-free access for Piccadilly Line users at the station.
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