New report by passenger watchdog highlights the vital role played by small stations as the capital grows – they must not be neglected

20 July 2017

A report published today by London’s independent passenger watchdog highlights the need for improvements at small stations in and around the capital. Passengers make almost 100 million journeys to and from small stations in and around London every year but these stations are more likely to be neglected than larger ones, despite their growing importance. Annual usage at these stations ranges from almost 5,000 to almost 1 million.

London TravelWatch Chair, Stephen Locke commented: ‘Small stations often receive less investment than larger stations and are not necessarily eligible for funding programmes. The quality of the passenger experience can vary quite significantly as small stations are not subject to a set of minimum standards. Resource constraints also mean that small stations are often left out of passenger satisfaction surveys - this reduces the incentive on train companies to improve passenger facilities at these stations.’

Stephen continued: ‘Our report shows that station operators could gain quick wins and raise satisfaction levels with relatively simple improvements such as regular and frequent cleaning, providing secure cycle storage and increasing the availability of clear and consistent travel information and signage.’

Many small stations like London Fields and Cambridge Heath have benefitted as a result of improvements under TfL’s concession model following rail devolution while other stations have developed effective partnerships with their local communities.

Key improvements that passengers would like to see made at small stations include:

  • Improved levels of service in the evening and at weekends, particularly in outer London
  • ensuring the availability of ticketing and smart card facilities
  • providing passenger and onward travel information
  • making it easier to interchange with other services and modes
  • providing assistance and security
  • improved co-ordination of services at small stations where more than one operator is involved, with clear, consistent standards for what passengers can expect
  • improved cycle storage


Notes to editors

  • London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  • For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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