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Victoria upgrade to go ahead

London’s Victoria underground station will benefit from a £695M upgrade, following approval by Lord Adonis today.

Victoria is used by more than 80M passengers each year but severe congestion during the morning rush hour often makes it necessary to stop passengers coming into the station for several minutes, to avoid overcrowding on the Tube platforms.

When complete, the scheme will increase the size of the station by about 50% with a new ticket hall, lifts and additional escalators to ease congestion, and step-free access from street level to all platforms and for interchange.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “For many people, Victoria Station is the gateway to central London, and for a long time it has been creaking under pressure from the sheer number who use it every day. This key upgrade will transform the experience for those using the station - making life easier and more convenient. It exemplifies our commitment to invest in our future to ensure our infrastructure can meet the needs of the 21st century.”

London Underground’s managing director, Richard Parry said: “Victoria Underground stations is one of the busiest stations in the country with around 80M people passing through its gates every year. This number is set to grow especially when we increase capacity on the Victoria, District and Circle lines, and these works will ensure the station can handle the additional volume of customers.

“This ambitious project - which will increase the station’s capacity by 50 per cent, with a brand new ticket hall and step free access introduced to all lines - is part of our huge programme of works to transform the Tube and deliver real improvements for our customers,” he said.

Work on the seven-year project is expected to begin in 2010, subject to the TfL Board approving funding for the project in the Autumn.

Mott MacDonald was appointed as lead consultant for the detailed design through to construction of the Victoria Station upgrade two years ago.

The New Victoria:

• Cuts in peak time congestion and improved capacity with a new ticket hall and entrance to the station beneath Bressenden Place, allowing passengers from Victoria Street to enter the station without crossing the complex of streets toward the existing station entrance;

• Better station access for all passengers with new lifts in the enlarged existing Victoria line ticket hall, providing step-free access to all platform levels and wider stairs to the national rail station:

• Nine new escalators;

• Seven new lifts, providing step-free access from street to the Victoria line and for interchange with District and Circle line platforms; and

• New passageway to the north end of the Victoria line platform.

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