A feasibility study conducted by TfL on plans to re-open a rail station in Camberwell concluded that it would not be a good use of public money – despite significant local demand.
In a report on the proposal, published today, TfL said that the station “would deliver local benefits but in overall terms would not be a good use of public funds at this time.”
It said: “While the provision of the station would clearly improve connectivity to surrounding areas, and central London, the lack of development opportunities and negative impact on existing rail users currently outweigh the benefits to Camberwell.
“This would make any decision to proceed with this project on the current basis questionable in terms of the use of increasingly scarce public funds.”
Remaining options to improve public transport area include “enhanced buses” and “walking and cycling interventions.”
While the feasibility study was undertaken by Transport for London, the final decision on whether to re-open the station would be taken by Network Rail.
The study has been slammed by campaigners, councillors and Helen Hayes MP, who called its methodology deeply flawed.
Campaigners from Priority Action for Camberwell Transport (PACT) argue that the location of two busy hospitals in Camberwell – King’s College and the Maudsley – mean that a rail station is needed.
Around 10,000 members of staff work at the sites, while King’s College hospital is expected to experience growing outpatient numbers requiring access to the area.
Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, said: “It is very disappointing that the business case does not appear to have given any weight to the critical transport issues facing staff at Kings and the Maudsley.
“This is a serious flaw in the government’s methodology which means that the business case for Camberwell Station must be reconsidered.”
Harriet Harman, MP for Camberwell and Peckham, added that she was “deeply disappointed” with the decision, which she said was needed to deal with “dangerous overcrowding” at Denmark Hill and Nunhead stations.
Meanwhile, Cllr Johnson Situ, who holds the planning portfolio, said: “This part of London remains woefully under-served by the rail networks.
“Camberwell and its residents risk being left behind and reliant on the slower and sometimes less direct bus service.”
The councillor added that he would be meeting with Network Rail to continue pushing for the station.
Campaigners have vowed to continue fighting for the station and say that the plans for the station are “delayed, not derailed.”