First year figures show Mitcham Eastfields well on track

First year figures for journeys made from the award-winning Mitcham Eastfields reveal a train station that is benefiting thousands of people every month.

Chief rail operator Southern Rail has reported more than 78,000 journeys made to and from the station since it was opened in July last year. Fellow rail operator First Capital Connect also reported around 55,000 journeys made on its trains. In financial terms Southern took £500,000 in ticket purchases across the counter alone.

The release of these latest figures follows a successful first half of 2009 for the station. In March Merton Council along with partners Network Rail and Southern were presented with the prestigious Rail Station of the Year award at the London Transport Awards ceremony. The station was praised as having a positive impact on Mitcham town centre making it more accessible for business and residential opportunities.

The council turned around the major planning application from submission to permission in 28 working days. Working effectively together Network Rail, Southern Rail and the council completed the whole building process from planning to opening a fully working station in under a year. The Mitcham Eastfields project now provides a model for future new station development in London.

Merton Council cabinet member for finance and regeneration Councillor Diane Neil Mills said: ‘It is great to see hard proof that so many people are benefiting from the service. We were very passionate about getting this station off the ground and a lot of work involving the council, residents, Network Rail, the operators and Transport for London went into building this wonderful station and connecting it to the rail network.’

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Notes to editors
1. Mitcham Eastfields is situated in zone three and is the result of a partnership between Merton Council, Network Rail, Southern Rail, First Capital Connect and Transport for London. It is the first brand new suburban station since World War II. Merton Council was the first London authority to install one of Network Rail’s new generation of sustainably built train stations. The ticket office is in line with Merton Council’s commitment to improving buildings and transport systems to reduce carbon emissions. Designed to keep energy use to a minimum, the ticket office is constructed from recyclable material where possible. Forty-eight sq m of solar panels on the roof will harness energy from the sun to power lighting and other electrical appliances. Carbon emissions will be reduced by 10%.

2. Mitcham Eastfields Station is at the level crossing junction with Tamworth Lane and Grove Road. Its 170 metres (eight coach) long platforms were constructed on site, but the station building was manufactured off-site and was lifted into place in ready-made sections. This type of construction allowed the station to be delivered in record time and also meant minimal disruption for railway passengers and residents in the surrounding area. Accessibility is also central to the design of the station. The footbridge over the tracks includes a lift, providing step-free access to all. The ticket office is a two-storey building offering a total of 72 square metres of floor space.

3. Network Rail invested £6 million in the project.

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.