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

Belmont Station – 20th January 2023

These pictures show Belmont station.

Note.

  1. The first four pictures show the remaining double track between Sutton and Belmont stations. The double track finishes shortly before the station.
  2. All trains use the only platform, which is numbered One.
  3. The remains of the second platform.
  4. There is sufficient space to put in a second track and restore the second platform.
  5. The steel stairs up to the bridge over the railway.
  6. The bus station outside the station.
  7. The S4 bus takes everybody to and from the Royal Marsden Hospital.
  8. There was no signage on the station about which bus to take to the hospital.

There is a large amount of traffic outside the station, which very much seems in a hurry.

January 20, 2023 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Balham – Gateway To The Royal Marsden

With apologies to the late great Peter Sellers and his iconic Balham – Gateway To The South.

After breakfast this morning at Leon on Moorgate, I decided to go and look at Belmont station, which is the nearest station to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton.

Currently, Belmont has a two train per hour (tph) service from Victoria which goes via Clapham Junction, Balham and West Croydon.

From Moorgate the easiest route was to go via the iconic Balham station, where I took these pictures.

Note.

  1. There are two fast and two slow tracks through Balham station.
  2. There is a cafe on the two slow platforms.

I transferred here to an Epsom Downs train for Belmont.

The only problem was that I just missed one train and had to wait half-an-hour for the next.

The service between Victoria and Belmont needs to be increased in frequency.

January 20, 2023 Posted by | Food, Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Levelling Up Funding Will Double Train Services To Belmont In Surrey

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Advent.

This project is outlined in these three paragraphs in the article.

An award of £14.1 million to Sutton Council from the government’s Levelling Up Fund will unlock the full potential of the London Cancer Hub and allow the number of trains running to the village of Belmont in South London to be doubled.

The London Cancer Hub is a world-leading life sciences campus that is being developed at Belmont in Surrey, and which will create 13,000 jobs and £1.2 billion each year for the UK economy.

Until now, Belmont has been poorly served by public transport and the money will enable its train services to be doubled to four trains an hour, and extra direct services from Belmont to London Victoria.

This document from Sutton Council gives more details in this paragraph.

This bid will double train frequency between Belmont and London Victoria from 2 to 4 trains per hour by building a siding turnback south of Belmont Station. It will improve accessibility at the station and provide better routes for people walking and cycling to the station from the nearby area and The London Cancer Hub. As a result, public transport accessibility will improve and active travel will increase.

This map from CartoMetro shows the current track layout at Belmont station.

Note.

  1. The Epsom Downs branch used to be double track, with a second platform at Belmont station.
  2. There used to be a cross-over South of the station.

I suspect a length of the other track will be reinstated, with a cross-over the other way round to create the turnback siding.

This will allow two extra trains per hour to run between London and Belmont, that will turn back at Belmont.

In Could Third-Rail Tram-Trains Work The Epsom Downs Branch?, I walked up the hill to the Royal Marsden Hospital and it wasn’t an easy walk, as these pictures show.

Perhaps all trains should be met by a zero-carbon shuttle bus.

Going to a cancer hospital is not a pleasurable experience, especially for a child, so why not liven it up a bit with a ride in the best zero-carbon bus, that can be found?

 

 

 

January 19, 2023 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 14 Comments