The Anonymous Widower

The New Entrance At Hackney Central Station – 2nd July 2022

The new entrance at Hackney Central station opened yesterday.

Note.

  1. The cafe must be fairly good, as it has two flavours of gluten-free brownies.
  2. I may have a touch of arthritis these days, but stairs like these are fine for me, as there are two right-handed paths.
  3. There is a second set of stairs down from the footbridge to speed passengers on their way to Hackney Downs station.
  4. There is a light-controlled crossing over Graham Road.
  5. Bus stops in both directions are only about twenty metres from the crossing.
  6. The station buildings appear to have green roofs.
  7. The is plenty of bike storage, but no car parking.
  8. There is no lift, although the design should allow one to be added later, if it is thought one is needed.

I’ve seen bigger budgets produce worse designed station entrances than this one.

My Use Of The Graham Road Entrance At Hackney Central Station

I suspect, I will use the new entrance mainly in one of two ways.

Going West On The North London Line

If I want to go west on the North London Line, the obvious one is to get a bus to Highbury & Islington station from the closest stop to my house and get the train from there.

But that route has got more difficult in recent years.

  • Our South London Mayor in his wisdom cut the 277 bus back to Dalston Junction station.
  • So there is only the 30 bus left and the route uses badly-designed Egyptian-built buses. I’ve nothing against Egyptians, but these buses don’t have the flat floor, that people expect from a bus these days.
  • Since the roundabout was rebuilt, it seems to be a longer and more difficult walk for pedestrians.

So I’d prefer to take another route.

  • Canonbury station is probably the closest station, but it is an uphill walk from my house.
  • Dalston Kingsland station is a possibility, but the steps to the platform aren’t the safest.
  • Dalston Junction station is another possibility, as it is step-free, but it means more changes of mode and train.

Going via the new Graham Road entrance has advantages.

  • From my house, there are frequent 38 buses to the new entrance.
  • The 38 bus stop at Hackney Central is only a few metres from the station entrance.
  • There is a coffee stall in the station entrance.
  • The steps in the entrance are easy for me.

I will try out this route the next time, that I go to the West on the North London Line.

Coming Home From Stratford With Shopping

If I need a big Marks & Spencer or a John Lewis, it is convenient to go to Eastfield at Stratford and come home on the North London Line.

I will usually use the The Canonbury Cross-Over to double-back and get a bus home from Dalston Junction station.

It is an easy route, but sometimes the trains mean a wait of nearly ten minutes at Canonbury station.

The new entrance at Hackney Central gives an alternative route.

  • You would get in the back of the train at Stratford.
  • Alight at Hackney Central.
  • Exit the station through the new entrance.
  • Cross Graham Road on the light-controlled crossing.
  • Walk about twenty metres to the 38 bus stop.
  • Wait for a frequent 38 bus.

Today, I waited just a minute.

Conclusion

The entrance was first mentioned in an article on Ian Visits in October 2019 and I wrote about it in Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?.

In May 2021, I wrote £3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June.

The entrance seems to have gone from a concept to reality in under three years and once the starting pistol was fired, it was built in under a year.

How many parts of the UK rail network could be improved, by small projects like this?

 

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hackney Central Station New Entrance – 24th December 2021

The new entrance at Hackney Central station is moving on.

Parts of the structure can now be seen behind the hoardings.

This picture shows the new entrance from Graham Road.

And this picture shows the entrance from above.

It does not look like step-free access is provided, but I suspect it could be added later.

Strangely, although Hackney Central station is to the East of where I live on the other side of Dalston Junction, it will be on a route, I might take, when I want to go West on the North London Line. I would just take a 38 bus direct to this entrance and then take a train to Richmond or Clapham Junction station as appropriate.

If Hackney Council put a light-controlled crossing over Graham Road, this will make it easy for me to come home from Stratford.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

A Fair Recovery For Hackney Central

This image from Hackney Council shows a visualisation of the new entrance to Hackney Central station, that will be created on Graham Road.

I took these pictures of the site in October 2019.

I wrote about the new entrance in Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?.

It’s certainly a site in need of improvement.

Here’s a few more of Hackney’s images from this page on Hackney Council’s web site.

If they build it like the visualisations, it could be something special.

May 24, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

£3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Hackney Gazette.

Selfishly, this is the improvement, that I’m waiting for.

I live to the West of Dalston Junction station on the 38 bus route. The second entrance will make getting to and from Stratford and the various attractions there much easier.

May 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Full Steam Ahead For Second Entrance At Hackney Central Overground Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Hackney Gazette.

 

The first paragraph says it all.

A second entrance at Hackney Central Overground station could be up and running by the end of 2021, after receiving planning approval yesterday.

I’m pleased and this was my comment to the article.

I am 73 and live between Dalston Junction and Highbury Corner, so if I’ve been to the Eastfield Shopping Centre and am coming home with a heavy parcel, I sometimes find it heavy going, as I either have to cross the footbridge at Hackney Central and get a 38 bus or do a bit of shuttling about to get one of the buses from Dalston Junction.

This entrance will mean I can get out at Hackney Central and get the bus in Graham Road.

Provided of course, the pedestrian crossings are arranged with the new entrance and the buses.

I don’t think we can ever have too many station entrances.

 

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Plans For Second Entrance At Hackney Central Station Move Ahead

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Hackney Citizen.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Plans to alleviate overcrowding at Hackney Central station are now moving ahead, with a decision by the Town Hall to provide a second entrance on council-owned land on Graham Road.

The article also makes the following points.

  • Things should be moving on the new entrance on the North side of the station.
  • Usage of the Overground went up 160 percent between 2007 and 2013,
  • Usage is expected to rise 40 % in the next ten years.
  • The original 1980s building was designed with a twenty year life.

Read the whole article, as it looks like the politics of the new entrance is all very complicated, but badly needed. Especially, by this traveller!

 

March 12, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?

Hackney Central station is a station that has been designed by that well-known architectural practice; Topsy and Partners.

When I moved back to London, the station was very simple with a crude concrete footbridge.

And now there is talk of a second entrance at Hackney Central station in Graham Road.

This article on Ian Visits is entitled Hackney Central Overground Station Could Get A Second Entrance

This is the first paragraph.

A second entrance for Hackney Central station to deal with overcrowding is being explored as part of a joint project between the council and Transport for London.

And this Google Map shows the plot of land, where the entrance would be built.

Graham Road runs across the bottom of the map and there is a gap in the houses on the North side, that leads up to the railway.

I took these pictures as I walked from West to East along Graham Road.

Notice the sign on the site, which says Development Site Sold.

The Ian Visits article says this about development of the second entrance.

Hackney council and TfL have agreed in principle to contribute to the scheme and work together with Network Rail on the project. Initial feasibility work has started and ground investigations are expected to begin in October. Depending on feasibility work and funding arrangements, construction of the second entrance may start next year.

Doubtless the new entrance will be funded by the usual over site development, but it is on the end of a row of residential houses, so a block of flats would not be overly out of place here.

Ian also states that the land is owned by Hackney Council.

Could it be that we’re looking at a plan being put together, by a property developer bearing in mind, the wishes of Hackney Council?

  • The Council have sold the land with conditions on development.
  • There would be an appropriately-sized block of apartments.
  • Some would be affordable.
  • The block would contain an entrance to the station.

It would certainly be a well-located housing development.

  • It would have a convenience entrance to the station, with trains every few minutes  to the North, South, East and West.
  • There are three frequent bus services on Graham Road.
  • Walk to the North and you are in Hackney’s main shopping area.
  • Walk to the South and you come to the Hackney Cultural Quarter that comprises the Town Hall, Library, the Hackney Empire theatre and the cinema.

I doubt there would be much if any car parking in the block and it will be difficult locally.

What Would The Station Entrance Do For Rail Passengers?

Obviously, it would help those who lived by the entrance, but it would also help other groups.

Passengers From The Cultural Quarter Going West

Currently, if you’re going from say the Town Hall to perhaps Highbury & Islington for the Victoria Line of Hampstead Heath for a constitutional, you have to walk under the railway, enter the station on the Stratford-bound platform and then use the footbridge to cross the tracks.

Wjen the second entrance opens, you would use it to go direct to the Westbound platform.

Passengers Arriving From Stratford Wanting To Catch A Bus To The West

I regularly come home from Stratford, after shopping in the big Marks & Spencer in Eastfield.

It is a tricky journey, as whatever way you take, there seems to be steps at some point.

When the second entrance opens, I will use it to catch one of the frequent 38 buses stopping outside the station to get home.

I don’t think, I will be the only person using this route..

Passengers Of Reduced Mobility And Those With Baggage, Bikes And Buggies

A Second Entrance on Graham Road would certainly make it easier for any of these groups of passengers.

Increased Services On The North London Line

Services on the North London Line are currently si-eight trains per hour (tph) and this frequency wil surely increase to reduce overcrowding.

There will be more passengers wanting to use train services at Hackney Central, making an additional entrance more necessary.

Conclusion

A Second Entrance to Hackney Central station on Graham Road would be a valuable additio to the increasingly busy Hackney Central/Hackney Downs station complex.

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Funding Secured For New Entrance At Stratford Tube Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

The new entrance will give those coming from the Carpenters Estate direct access to Stratford station.

This Google Map shows the South East section of the station.

The main station building has the two station symbols on the top and the Jubilee Line platforms run Southwards from the building.

It would appear that the new entrance will be close to the Southernmost corner of the station building in a staff car park.

Knowing the station well, I suspect it will be a very useful new entrance for both residents and visitors to the Olympic Park.

It will make it easier to avoid the clutches of Eastfield.

The only details on the cost of the scheme is this sentence from Ian’s article.

Newham council has agreed to contribute £1 million to the scheme, which is being funded from its Community Infrastructure Levy.

As it incorporates some extra lifts in the station, the scheme is probably going to be more than a million pound one, but the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is involved, I suspect that everything is securely funded.

Should There Be Other Small Schemes Like This?

At Shepherd’s Bush station on the Overground, in 2015, a new entrance was built to give better access to Westfield. It is not very busy during the day, but I suspect that workers at Westfield use it more than shopper. Wikipedia says it cost £1.35 million, so I should think that the Stratford scheme wouldn’t cost a great deal more.

I believe there are other places, where extra entrances could be built.

Simple Ungated Entrances

Entrances don’t have to be grand, as I showed in An Ungated Entrance Used To Create Step-Free Access At Crofton Park Station.

These two entrances are just a hole in the station fence, Oyster readers and a bit of tarmac. There must be other places, where these entrances can be installed.

An Entrance At Hackney Central Station Into Graham Road

In It Looks Like The Hackney Downs/Central Link Is Ready To Open, I also talk in detail about adding a Southern entrance to Hackney Central station, that would lead directly into Graham Road. Eith a pedestrian crossing and changes to the bus stops, it would be a very useful step-free entrance for those living between the centres of Hackney and Dalston.

A Second Entrance At Highbury & Islington Station

In Could We Create A Second Entrance To The Overground At Highbury And Islington Station?, I investigated creating a West-facing entrance at Highbury & Islington station, that would improve access for those going to football.

Conclusion

I believe that a lot of stations can be improved, by adding extra entrances in convenient places.

It is probably easier to do in London’s Oyster/contactless card area, as a couple of readers can sort out ticketing.

 

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Is Hackney Downs Station A Suitable Case For Treatment?

Some of the stations on the London Overground, are architectural gems.

The picture shows some the internal detail of the refurbished Grade II Listed Crystal Palace station. The cafe was created in an area of the station, that few realised existed.

There is also work going on at Peckham Rye station, where an enormous Victorian waiting room has been discovered. An architect called Benedict O’Looney seems to be on a mission to restore the station to its former glory.

Peckham Rye station could be step-free as early as 2019, so I suspect that the station could become more important in the grand scheme of things.

What would Del Boy have thought?

There is also Camden Road station, which is in pretty-good nick.

If Camden Road station has a problem, it is that the station possibly needs more passenger capacity and perhaps one of the closed platforms to be reopened.

I’d love to know what is behind those windows on the top floor.

Hackney Central station has a similar building to Camden Road station.

It looks like Hackney Central will get a modern station building to go with the step-free footbridge. But I suspect everything is on hold until the plan for Crossrail 2 is finally decided.

Yesterday, I was in Hackney Downs station and I was told that the bland station building abandoned by British Rail, might be worth restoring.

 

Who knows what lies behind the brick walls and lurks in the dark spaces under the tracks in the old station building?

Knowing the way, many of these railway stations were built, I wonder if London Overground could come up with an imaginative scheme to create a Victorian counterbalance to the more modern Hackney Central, in what will inevitably be Hackney Interchange.

 

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Draft Hackney Central And Surrounds Masterplan

Last week, I went to a consultation about the Draft Hackney Central And Surrounds Masterplan in the Narrow Way by HackneyCentral station.

If you want to see the full version of the masterplan it is available at www.hackney.gov.uk/spd.

About Myself

As this article will be sent to the Council Planning Department, I’ll say a little bit about myself.

  • Widowed, in my seventieth year and living alone.
  • I’m coeliac, which I inherited from my father.
  • I always describe my politics as left-wing Tory and very radical.
  • As someone, who has helped create two high class technology businesses sold for millions of pounds, I’m very entrepreneurial.
  • My father and three of my grandparents were all born within the triangle based on the Angel, Dalston Junction and Highbury Corner.
  • My father was the least racist person, I’ve ever met. I hope his attitude has rubbed off on me!
  • My two grandfathers were of part-Jewish and part-Huguenot ancestry respectively.
  • As my two grandmothers families came from Northants and Devon, I usually describe myself as a London mongrel.
  • My late wife and myself partly brought our three sons up in the Barbican.
  • My middle son talks of that time in a tower block with affection, so I’m not against well-designed tower blocks.

After a stroke, left me unable to drive, I returned to my roots.

My Views On The Masterplan

I like lots of things about it. And especially these!

  • The prominence given to new workspace, shops and the creation of jobs.
  • The creation of new housing, where I’m only against bad tower blocks.
  • The opening up of the railway viaduct, so it becomes a feature. Network Rail get a lot of stick, but they know how to look after railway brickwork.
  • The creation of a public square at the bottom of the Narrow Way.
  • The creation of more pedestrian streets.
  • Better use of the bus garage site.
  • Improvement of Bohemia Place.

It wouldn’t be me, to not put in my own wish list.

The Overground

Truth be told, I don’t think Transport for London, thought the Overground would be the success, it has turned out to be. So the designers did the minimum they felt they could get away with and would satisfy their political masters!

But the London Overground’s success has been repeated in places like the Borders Railway, Electrification in Liverpool, new stations in Leeds and the Todmorden Curve, and it is now proven in the UK, that if you give the population a good train service, they’ll use it.

Now that the walkway has connected Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations and other improvements to the complex are in the pipeline, I think that serious consideration should be given to creating a second entrance to Hackney Central from Graham Road.

Failing that, pedestrian routes should be improved, so that access to the cluster of buildings around the Town Hall and the Empire is easier.

Hackney Central As A Meeting Point

Once the public square is created at the bottom of the Narrow Way, use of the area as a meeting point should be encouraged.

Consider.

  • Hackney Central is where two rail lines cross.
  • The London Overground through Hackney Downs gets new trains in 2018.
  • There are several bus routes passing through the area.
  • Bohemia Place and the railway arches must have potential for specialist shops and cafe/restaurants like Leon.
  • Leon was started by a Hackney resident.

Who said it’s all about location?

Learning From Other Cities And Towns

I travel extensively, in the UK and Europe and see both good and bad examples of how to develop cities and towns.

Recently, I went to Blackburn and I was totally surprised at the transformation since I last visited a few years ago.

A Landscaped square had been created between the station and the cathedral.The square is surrounded by a PremierInn, a new office block, a small bus station on one side and a pedestrian way to a supermarket on the other.

Hackney could do similar or even better.

Sculpture

My uncle was a very good sculptor and I feel it is a crime that works of art like large bronzes are kept in store because security and insurance is a problem.

However, there are places where they could be placed with little fear of theft or damage. And that is at carefully selected locations on the platforms of railway stations.

So why not?

Hackney Downs certainly has space for one, but the platforms at Central are too narrow!

Information

When I was on holiday in Iceland, every building with a historic connection, had full information displayed outside.

Is Hackney’s information up to scratch?

Other Thoughts

This is a series of pictures with comments.

Conclusions

Hackney Central has some interesting buildings on which to develop the area. Unfortunately, there is some bad examples of boring architecture.

Some sites definitely have potential.

  • Could the top floors of the Iceland building, be converted into a Southern station entrance, with perhaps a cafe and a couple of shops that travellers like?
  • Bohemia Place could be a nice oasis with cafes, workshops and individual shops, a bit like the Box Park at Shoreditch High Street station.
  • Bohemia Place will be better, when the arches under the railway are opened up.
  • The right architect could do a fine job on the M & S Building.
  • The car park at Hackney Central station might be much better as a bus interchange.

In my view the key is Bohemia Place, as this could be a magnet for people of all ages, races and classes to come and shop and refresh themselves.

 

 

 

 

October 25, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment