The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Belmont Station

This press release from Sutton Council is entitled Trains Running To Belmont Set To Double As Sutton Wins £14 million Levelling Up Funding.

These four paragraphs outline the scheme.

The number of trains running to Belmont is set to double after Sutton Council secured a £14.1 million cash injection from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

The investment has been awarded to unlock the full potential of the London Cancer Hub, the world-leading life sciences campus that is being developed in Belmont and is poised to create 13,000 jobs and £1.2 billion each year for the UK economy.

The money will be used to improve rail services at Belmont, an area which has been poorly served by public transport until now. This will enable train services to double from two to four trains an hour, with additional direct services between Belmont and London Victoria. Belmont station will also be improved with step-free access, better wayfinding signage and new walking and cycling routes to the London Cancer Hub.

Better public transport is key to delivering the huge health and employment benefits of the London Cancer Hub. The major regeneration project is set to bring unprecedented investment to Sutton and tackle health inequalities nationwide by accelerating life-saving cancer research and innovation.

I have some thoughts.

Comparison To The Cambridge Biomedical Campus

The Cambridge Biomedical Campus is a similar medical research site in Cambridge.

  • The Cambridge site does more general research, than the Sutton site.
  • Both sites have world class hospitals.
  • Both hospitals attract lots of patients from some distance away.
  • The Cambridge site already has 20,000 employees, as opposed to Sutton’s target of 12,000.
  • In a few years, the Cambridge site will have a railway station; Cambridge South, connecting it to London and the wider environs of Cambridge.
  • The Cambridge site has good cycle and bus connections to the  Greater Cambridge area.
  • The Sutton site, needs good cycle and bus connections to the local area and especially local stations, including Belmont.

In addition, I believe that if Belmont had four trains per hour (tph) connecting it to Greater London, this would be an alternative to using private cars to reach the Sutton site.

Handling Patients At Belmont Station

Going into hospital even for just a short out-patient visit can be stressful, so I feel it is important that everything is done to make the time in the station and getting between the train and bus, as stress-free as possible.

  • Access between train and platform should be step-free and wheelchair-friendly.
  • There should be a comfortable waiting area.
  • Access between the train and bus should be step-free and wheelchair-friendly.
  • Buses should be timed to meet the trains.
  • There should be lots of information.
  • I suspect blind people get cancer, just like most people, so there probably needs to be staff or volunteers at the station.

I see a couple of problems.

  • Getting the bus next to the platform is difficult, as they’ve built flats on the space in front of the station.
  • The light controlled crossing, is in the wrong place for slow travellers to get across the road to the bus station.

Some hard and possibly expensive thinking will be needed to get good access between the trains and the bus to the hospital.

How Well Would Four tph Connecting London Victoria And Belmont Serve The Hospital?

The current trains between London Victoria and Belmont call at the following stations, where there are interchange possibilities.

  • Clapham Junction, which has lots of connections.
  • Balham, which connects to the Northern Line.
  • West Croydon, which connects to the Overground.
  • Sutton, which connects to Thameslink.

There may be sensible reasons for the extra two tph from Belmont to serve another set of destinations.

The train services should be designed in partnership with the NHS cancer treatment.


January 22, 2023 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. If it is serving a lot of people going to and from the hospital for treatment etc, I would suggest a separate waiting area, perhaps staffed by paramedic/nurse or similar, and some people are very poorly after treatment. And if there are patients having radiotherapy, they will have severely compromised immune systems – public transport was one of the things I was told to avoid during the pandemic, because of infection risk.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | January 23, 2023 | Reply

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