The huge expansion at Victoria tube station has been taking quite a long time. The new Cardinal Place was closed last weekend for works, but I dont think that was connected to the opening of this other new bit. The long awaited new and large Victoria Line ticket hall extension opened this afternoon. Its obviously a sort of half finished job as the other escalator bank is not yet in use.
On my way through the station earlier this afternoon- about 2pm – I spotted dignitaries through a gap in hoarding and realised there was an official ceremony in progress, so I asked staff in the best way I could if it was opening. Yes it would open a bit later wasn’t sure fully of what he said. That’s TfL’s excellent communication for people like me.
The new ticket hall under construction. This and the main picture taken December 1st 2017
Gap spotted in the hoarding so had a peep…
Yikes! There’s an opening ceremony of some sort underway…
Its real wicked! The new entrance opened today
On my return to Victoria about 5pm in anticipation of finding a new ticket hall in use, it was still a surprise to see it open. Had a quick tour and took a few pictures with my dodgy old smartphone! Its a disaster in low light conditions however…. anyhow I tried my luck conversing with a different member of TfL staff and he clearly told me it had opened at 2.30pm.
The new entrance in Wilton Road
As well as a bank of ticket machines, there’s a new TfL control room, its much larger and replaces the older one at the top of the original escalators. It will cover the District and Circle Lines too.
Lots of ticket barriers but no-one using them! Most going through the three or so new ones at the far end
Clearly the very restricted layout meant they had to impose this ugly trellis type fencing to maintain crowd flows. One wonders if the opening was really worth it? Yes opening the new section put a handful of new ticket gates into use but did they need all those others unused right now?
Expect these expandable barriers will be needed across the dividing area between the new and old ticket hall till such a time when the other escalator bank opens and passenger flows change somewhat.
Expandable barrier to stop cross flows
The middle entrance was taken out of use. I don’t know if its to be during rush hours or what. One thing is clear it was being used for storage of the hoardings and expanding fences, so it may be only a few days closure.
The original 1969 entrance shut off – for temp or refurbishment?
Earlier in the year I had enquired after TfL staff (yes having to approach these guys knowing their attitude!) as to the missing plaque commemorating the official opening of the Victoria Line in 1969, they were claiming they didn’t know where it had gone to. Liars! It had been behind the hoarding at the bottom of the new stairs all this time.
Commemorative stone on the opening of the Victoria Line – 7 March 1969 – in its new position