Passengers at Waterloo station are set to benefit from better retail facilities and more space on the concourse as work begins to construct a new retail balcony.
The scheme will create 20,000 sq ft of new retail space at first-floor level allowing kiosks currently in the middle of the overcrowded concourse to be cleared, creating more space and making it easier for passengers to move around the station.
The balcony built to access the new facilities will also improve the connection between Waterloo East and Waterloo mainline station.
Gavin McKechnie, Network Rail’s Head of Retail, said:
“We are committed to improving stations for passengers and the Waterloo balcony scheme does just that – by providing a better choice of restaurants and shops and easing congestion at Britain’s busiest station.
“Retail in stations is going from strength to strength with sales increasing year-on-year well above the high street. This new space at Waterloo will create exciting new opportunities for those looking to benefit from the high footfall of the busiest station in the country, as well as a great destination for casual dining, shopping and bars.”
Network Rail awarded the £10.6m contract for the scheme to BAM Construction Ltd, which has started work to remove the existing retail facilities on the concourse.
The station’s existing first-floor offices will then be converted into 18 new retail spaces and a 220 metre-long balcony will be constructed which will be accessible by a lift, escalators and stairs.
Work is due to be completed in Spring 2012.