Victoria underground: love it or hate it, you have to hate it. It bickers with Waterloo as London's busiest, with around 80 million entries and exits per year. Consequently, it's built up a reputation for overcrowding and closures during rush hour.
But salvation is at hand. Work begins this week to double the size of the southern ticket hall, part of the £70 million upgrade to the station. The area will remain open throughout the works, which will be screened behind hoardings, but you can expect a bit of increased agro while the improvements take place. Specifically, Transport for London warns of three imminent changes you should be aware of:
- From Monday 24 September, the stairs from Wilton Road will close. They will to be replaced by a new staircase in 2018 and a new entrance near Cardinal Place in 2016.
- The Victory Arch entrance at the National Rail station and the pedestrian access in front will be closed in October, but a new entrance into the National Rail station was opened from Wilton Road on 31 May 2012.
- The taxi rank at the front of the station will be relocated round the corner to Hudson’s Place from 1 October 2012.
TfL recommends that passengers buy tickets online or from other stations while the disruptions occur. The entire project is due for completion in 2018, and will also see construction of a new northern ticket hall, nine new escalators, better interchange tunnels and step-free access. An impressive cutaway view of the enhanced station can be found here (PDF).