This is more than just a new ticket hall - it is a bright, spacious, futuristic addition to the London transport network
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Minister for London, Tessa Jowell, today officially opened the brand new, state-of-the-art Northern ticket hall at King's Cross St. Pancras Underground station, which will provide a big increase in capacity, cutting congestion and improving accessibility.
The new ticket hall, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered as part of Transport for London's (TfL) Investment Programme, is the station's third ticket hall and will open to the public Sunday 29 November, delivering an early legacy benefit at one of the key London 2012 gateway stations.
It is great news for the 300,000 passengers that use the station each day, as it doubles station capacity thereby reducing congestion and slashing waiting times by providing more ticket office windows and ticket machines.
Step-free access will be available to five of the six lines that serve the station, with step-free access to the Northern line available from mid 2010.
The 2,000 square metre ticket hall consists of:
The new ticket hall is the latest big improvement delivered as part of TfL's multi-billion Investment Programme, which over the past year has seen new trains running on the Victoria line and London Overground network, further extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and the start of Crossrail construction.
Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said: 'King's Cross St. Pancras is a national and international gateway for millions of Londoners and visitors every year.
'Through the Government's £800m investment it is now an Underground station to be proud of - ensuring a quick and pleasant travelling experience.
'This project demonstrates our firm commitment to delivering a sustainable and efficient transport system fit for the 21st century.'
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'This is more than just a new ticket hall - it is a bright, spacious, futuristic addition to the London transport network, which will benefit hundreds of thousands of passengers each day and make their journeys easier.
'The capacity of the Tube station will now be doubled, easing congestion, slashing queuing times, and improving quality of life for the multitude using the station.
'London Underground has done a grand job in making this new ticket hall a reality.
'In short, it is the standard by which all new station developments should be judged.'
Minister for London, Tessa Jowell, said: 'For anyone who needs to use King's Cross on a daily basis, life is about to get a lot easier.
'As well as speeding up ticket purchases and Oyster top-ups, the new ticket hall will put an end to closures due to overcrowding, and make travelling easier for people who need step-free access.
'King's Cross already sees more passengers a year than Heathrow and by the time the Olympics take place in 2012, more than 100,000 people will be passing through the station at peak times every day.
'This £800m expansion is essential to effectively managing future passenger numbers.'
Peter Hendy, London's Transport Commissioner, said: This new ticket hall is the latest in a series of important improvements for customers delivered by the TfL Investment Programme.
'King's Cross St. Pancras station is one of the oldest and busiest stations on the Tube network and the redevelopment of the station is vital to deal with the hundreds of thousands of people who use the station every day without peak time closures.
'There are 11 lines on the Tube network, six of which serve King's Cross St. Pancras station and all six lines will have been upgraded by 2016.'
The Tube carries more than a billion passengers every year and is undergoing one of the biggest investment programmes in its 146-year history, with new track, trains and signalling.
When complete it will deliver a 30 per cent increase in capacity across the network.
The opening of the Northern ticket hall coincides with the publication of TfL's Interchange Best Practice Guidelines, which seek to improve the quality of planning, design, and operation of public transport interchanges.
The Northern ticket hall exemplifies the principles outlined in the document, and is designed to improve the passenger experience when changing between trains and other modes of transport.
Notes to editors: