Transport Minister Tom Harris MP officially opened the new Mitcham Eastfields station today as he cut the ribbon to mark the occasion.
The opening of Mitcham Eastfields has been a major step forward for the area and plays a significant role in the regeneration of the town centre. It is the first brand new suburban station in south London since World War II and one of the first modular stations in the UK.
Part of Merton Council’s improvement programme for the town, the station is a result of over £6 million of investment by Network Rail and a successful partnership between Merton Council, Network Rail, Southern, First Capital Connect and Transport for London.
Mitcham is now connected to Victoria, Blackfriars and London Bridge with journey times of less than 20 minutes. The connection into St Pancras also makes Europe a stone’s throw from Mitcham. Taking the train in the opposite direction, residents are also able to enjoy days out in the Surrey countryside and on the south coast.
The ticket office falls in line with the council’s commitment to sustainable buildings and transport systems that reduce carbon emissions. This building is one of a new generation of modular, flexible and environmentally-sound stations developed by Network Rail. Made from recyclable material where possible, the building has been designed to keep energy use to a minimum. Solar energy harnessed by 48m2 of solar panels on the roof powers the lighting and other electrical appliances, reducing carbon emissions by 10%, and rainwater is collected in water butts and supplied to the public washrooms.
The 170m (eight coaches) long platforms were constructed in the traditional way, but the station building was constructed off-site and lifted into place in ready-constructed sections. This type of construction has allowed the station to be delivered in record time. It has also meant minimal disruption for railway passengers and residents in the surrounding area.
Accessibility is central to the design of the station. The footbridge over the tracks will include a hydraulic lift making it accessible to all.
Until the development of Mitcham Eastfields, the nearest railway station for Mitcham was Mitcham Junction, over a mile from the town centre and in zone four. The new station is just an eight-minute walk from Mitcham town centre and is in zone three.
Transport Minister Tom Harris MP said: ‘With the opening of Mitcham Eastfields I hope that residents will choose the green travel option, whether they are travelling to Surrey, London or to destinations further afield. I know local businesses and residents have worked extremely hard on regenerating the area and the new station will certainly help unlock Mitcham’s full potential. Mitcham’s new rail link is a real calling card for new businesses.’
Merton Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Councillor Diane Neil Mills said: “Mitcham residents have been waiting for this station since 1936 and to see it completed and being used by so many people brings tremendous joy. Mitcham Eastfields connects Mitcham to so many places, bringing with it the same opportunities that the delivery of the rail network brought to this country almost two centuries ago. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Mitcham Eastfields Station and I am enormously grateful for the effort made by Network Rail, Southern, First Capital Connect, TfL and council officers to deliver a new station in an unprecedented 22 months. Thank you!’
Network Rail’s route director Fiona Taylor said: “Mitcham Eastfields station is a great example of our commitment to building a bigger and better railway that supports both communities and the environment. This is a bright, smart, sustainable station that creates new journey opportunities and brings real benefits to passengers.”
Southern’s managing director, Chris Burchell said: “As principal train operator on the line, we are delighted to be managing this superb new station. Since the station opened in June, we have received extremely good feedback from Mitcham residents who are very pleased to have the station so near to their homes. More and more people are now using the station which is quickly becoming an integral part of the local community.”
Deputy Managing Director at First Capital Connect Andy Cope said: ‘It is great news that the area now has a mainline station after all these years and we would like to welcome First Capital Connect customers who board at the station. The local academy specialises in science and technology and this new energy efficient station will be a great example of sustainable design for the students.’
Note to editors
1. The ticket office is a two-storey building offering a total of 72m2 floor space.
2. Station operating hours are 04:30-01:30 seven days a week.
3. The station will be staffed 07:00-14:10 on weekdays and 08:00-14:50 on Saturdays. The ticket office is closed on Sundays.
4. Merton Council is continuing to work with Transport for London on traffic planning and footways surrounding the station. The council is making significant investment to improve the area surrounding the station.