The Autumn 2018 National Rail Passenger Survey showed just 23 per cent passenger satisfaction with seating at Victoria and 36 per cent at London Bridge. The South East route team decided to upgrade the seating in response to that passenger feedback and the total seat capacity at Victoria and London Bridge is now being increased from 150 at each station to 400 at each station.
John Halsall, managing director for Network Rail south east, said: “Thank you to everyone involved, it's a really significant development for us and shows we are listening to passengers and putting them first.
“We need to look after our passengers from the moment they choose to travel by train and this project shows we care and that we want them to have a comfortable journey as soon as they arrive at our stations.”
Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of Transport Focus, comments: “Passengers tell us that one of their main priorities at stations generally and at London Victoria is for better and more seating. These new, good looking seats provide just that.”
Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “We were delighted to work with Network Rail at London Victoria and London Bridge to plan and deliver the seating project.
“Our passengers will now have upgraded additional seating available should they arrive with time to spare before making their journey, or simply want to take a break before travelling. We look forward to working on further initiatives across London terminals to make our customers’ journey easier.”
The seats, similar to those installed at Stansted Airport, were made by Green Furniture Concepts, based in Malmo, Sweden. The team chose a multi-coloured wooden configuration with tables built in for laptops and coffee cups.
Installation has started at Victoria and will continue at London Bridge.
Mindful of responsible procurement and environmental impact, the metal seating has been ‘recycled’ onto the platform areas at London Bridge and Victoria and other local stations.
Darren Williams, station manager, London Victoria said: “The new seating follows in the footsteps of other passenger experience initiatives which we have recently launched such as the refurbishment of the toilets and the Team Victoria initiative.
“It's tangible proof that we are working to do things differently for passengers now.”
David Wornham, Passenger Services Director, Southeastern, said: “We’re always trying to do more for our passengers, as part of the Team Victoria approach, and this stylish and functional new seating will be greatly appreciated by everyone who uses the station, whether they are waiting for a train or just passing through.”