Two Southwark MPs have stepped up a campaign to reopen Camberwell’s long-abandoned rail station, by writing an open letter to the government.
Helen Hayes (for Dulwich and West Norwood) and Harriet Harman (for Camberwell and Peckham) have shown their letter for transport secretary Chris Grayling to the News.
The letter said: “We are writing to request a meeting to discuss our proposals for the re-opening of Camberwell rail station, which sits on the Thameslink Line between Loughborough Junction and Elephant and Castle…
“The reopening of the station would come as much needed relief to residents of Camberwell, who have suffered from poor transport links for years, especially following the disappointment of the proposal for the Bakerloo Line extension to only serve Old Kent Road, and with the ongoing disruption to Southern Rail services.
“The proposal is supported by nearby King’s College Hospital, which employs thousands of staff, and from whom constraints in local public transport create significant issues in getting staff, patients and visitors to the hospital.”
Ms Hayes and Ms Harman add that former mayor of London Boris Johnson had stated while in office that reopening the station would be possible if timetable changes could be made to accommodate it.
Mr Johnson was asked a question on the matter in a Mayor’s Question time in February last year, in which he said: “Initial feasibility indicates it would be possible to construct a modern station at this location if timetable changes could be made to accommodate an extra stop.”
Southwark Council has also said it hopes to “work with TfL” on reopening the station.
The council’s draft New Southwark Plan – a ten to fifteen-year vision for the borough – said: “The station area would be transformed into a vibrant cluster of small and medium-sized businesses,” making “intensive use” of the railway arches.
Camberwell Station shut its doors to passengers 101 years ago, and has since been reclaimed by nature.
Located on Camberwell Station Road, the station served the mainland City Line from Herne Hill to Farringdon Street when it first opened in 1862. The line also served another long-gone station, Borough Road, in Borough, which also closed in the early-20th century.
Matthew Yates, TfL’s Head of Transport Planning and Projects, said: “We continue to explore options with Southwark Council and Network Rail to potentially reopen Camberwell station on the Thameslink line, but no final decisions have yet been made.”
A Department of Transport spokesman told the News they would not comment until formal plans had been submitted.
The spokesman said: “We are committed to improving access to rail services for passengers and are happy to support proposals for new stations where these are viable and deliver the quality service passengers want.”