Capacity improvements to Holborn station

Closed 17 Nov 2017

Opened 18 Sep 2017

Results Updated 7 Jan 2019

We published our updated Business Plan on 11 December 2018. This covers the period 2018/19 to 2023/24. It fully aligns with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and outlines how we will continue to invest in the vital transport improvements London needs.

We are managing a number of financial challenges. A subdued economy across the UK has slowed down the number of passenger journeys across the country and reduced fare revenue. We have also experienced unprecedented cuts to our operational funding from the Government over the last five years, with funding cut by average £700m a year. The recent announcement by Crossrail Ltd that there would be a delay to the opening of the Elizabeth line has added to these financial challenges.

In the updated Business Plan the proposed Holborn Station Capacity Upgrade will be re-phased with works now expected to start in 2023/24.

In 2021 we plan to consult on how the proposed new station entrance will be built and how we will manage the impact of construction. After that, we hope to apply to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) - permission to do the work - in 2022. It's likely there will then be a public inquiry.

We have made significant progress on the project, including developing the scheme proposals and carrying out public consultation.

We are still very committed to the project. Ahead of the Government’s comprehensive spending review next year we will be making the case for long-term, steady and sustained investment to ensure critical infrastructure projects such as Holborn can continue so London’s transport network can support the demands of all those who live, work or visit our city.  

Results Updated 5 Jul 2018

Last year we held a public consultation on our proposals to substantially upgrade the capacity of Holborn station.

We received 995 responses to the consultation. 981 were from members of the public and 14 responses were from stakeholders and interest groups.

98 per cent of respondents agreed with the need to upgrade the station (86 per cent strongly agreed, 12 per cent agreed). 96 per cent of respondents supported our proposals (84 per cent strongly supported, 13 per cent partially supported. Note figures are rounded).

The full report detailing our analysis of the consultation and our response to the main issues raised are available below.

Consultation Report (PDF 5.08MB)

Response to Issues Raised Report (PDF 303KB)

We will consult in 2020 on how the proposed new station entrance will be built and how we will manage the impacts of construction.

In order to gain the necessary planning consent to deliver the proposed scheme we have to apply to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) under the Transport and Works Act 1992. We anticipate applying for this in 2022. Subject to permissions and funding, works could start in 2023 and would take about six years.

If you have any questions regarding the consultation, please contact us at:


This consultation is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who responded. We are currently analysing the responses. We’ll publish our report and response to the issues raised here. We’ll let respondents know when we do so.

Update ends

We are proposing to substantially upgrade the capacity of Holborn station.

The station needs improving so that it can continue to support the growing, vibrant local community and economy. We want to deliver an upgrade that will provide a much better transport experience for passengers using the station.

Our proposals include a new second entrance at the southern end of Procter Street, new escalators, lifts to provide step-free access, and more space to change between the Central and Piccadilly line trains. This is our first public consultation on our proposals for Holborn station. The consultation is open from 18 September to 17 November 2017.

We held a public exhibition at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL on Tuesday 10, Wednesday and Thursday 12 October 2017. 205 people attended our exhibition.

Capacity improvements to Holborn station - exhibition boards (PDF)

Use the links below if you would like to skip to a specific section:

The need
Our proposal
Future consultation and engagement
Next steps
Additional documents

How to reply
We would like to know your views about the need for a capacity increase and our proposals for Holborn station.

Please give us your views by completing the online survey below by 17 November 2017.

Alternatively, you can:

Click here for: Plan showing existing and proposed new station entrances and passenger tunnels (JPEG)

The need – the current station design

  • The station was designed in the early 1900s and the last major capacity upgrade was in the 1930s
  • The station is too small for current demand, creating crowding
    and queuing
  • At the busiest times, large numbers of customers are trying to
    get into and out of the station, as well as changing between the
    Central and Piccadilly lines
  • Passengers entering, leaving and changing between trains have to
    cross paths, creating congestion and delays
  • The station is located at a busy junction with heavy traffic and
    large numbers of pedestrians
  • There is no step-free access

Congestion outside of the station entrance

Congestion inside the ticket hall

The need – current demand and congestion

Holborn is our 11th busiest station with around 63 million customers using the station every year.

The station has a number of congestion hotspots, including:

  • Inside the ticket hall
  • Outside the ticket hall
  • Intermediate concourse
  • Piccadilly line level

Everyone who uses the station currently has to pass through a single point at the bottom of the main escalators which we call the intermediate concourse.

The station also has many narrow passageways, particularly around the Central line.

The need – future demand

As London continues to grow, Holborn will see an increase in demand from customers wanting to use the station.

By 2031, we estimate that demand will increase by 20 per cent in the morning peak and by 29 per cent in the evening peak.

The number of trains will be increased on both the Central and Piccadilly lines by the early 2030s.

Holborn is a designated Growth Area, meaning the Greater London Authority and Camden Council have a target for 2,000 new jobs and 200 new homes in this area.

We commissioned a passenger survey in 2016 together with Bee Midtown Business Improvement District. This considered the destinations of people leaving the station and found:

  • The majority of passengers use the Central line
  • The strongest flow of people is to destinations east of the existing station
  • 90 per cent of passengers walked to their final destinations
  • 70 per cent of passengers are commuting to/from work
  • 14 per cent were travelling to and/or from a place of education

This survey supported our findings that the best location for a second entrance would be at the heart of the Holborn Growth Area, in Procter Street.

Click here for: Destinations of passengers leaving Holborn station – percentage of all destinations (JPEG)

Our proposal – overview

  • A second entrance to the station, positioned at the southern end of Procter Street
  • Eight new escalators
  • Step-free access from street to trains, via three new lifts located at the existing Kingsway entrance, and a better layout for the ticket hall
  • New interchange routes between Central and Piccadilly line platforms
  • Our proposals would more than double the size of the station - increasing the station by around 140 per cent, with an additional 700 metres of tunnels
  • The station would remain open during busy periods, removing the need to hold people outside the ticket gates to ensure customer safety
  • Less crowding outside the existing station entrance as we expect about half of customers to use the new station entrance
  • Reduced walking distances for most passengers who go to destinations to the east of the existing station

Click here for: Indicative sketch showing proposed new entrance on Procter Street and existing station entrance (JPEG). Please note: Buildings above and next to entrances – including 110 High Holborn office bridge – removed for illustration purposes only

Our proposal – Procter Street entrance (internal)

A new entrance on Procter Street would provide much needed extra space for customers. This would reduce pressure on the Kingsway entrance.

Our proposals are for a new basement ticket hall below Procter Street, with two escalators and a staircase.

Beyond the ticket gate line, there would be three escalators which could provide a more direct route to the Central line and a new second route, with an additional three escalators, to the Piccadilly line.

We have designed the station based on about half of customers using the proposed new second entrance.

We would build an electrical substation at the lower level of the Procter Street entrance. This would convert electricity to supply our trains and is necessary for the future increases in trains by the early 2030s (see Factsheet 1).

Click here for: Cut away view of our proposals including step-free access from street to trains (JPEG)

Our proposal - Procter Street entrance (external)

We would widen the pavement in Procter Street to provide enough space for the new entrance and improve the public realm to cope with the number of customers using the Tube and pedestrians crossing Procter Street.

Procter Street currently has four general traffic lanes. After the entrance has been built, we propose to reduce the street to a single bus only southbound lane (south of Fisher Street) with two-way cycling.

We are working closely with Camden Council to develop proposed changes to the street. The changes could form part of its longer term plans for the road network.

Indicative sketch showing proposed new station entrance at Procter Street (looking south towards High Holborn). Materials and street layout to be agreed with Camden Council.

We would have to close the southern end of Procter Street to road traffic for about four years to build the new second entrance and do the tunnelling work down to the Piccadilly line level.

We are carrying out studies into the impact of our proposals on traffic flows (known as traffic modelling). Our current understanding of the impacts is set out in Factsheet 1.

Increasing the capacity of Holborn station is an important part of our approach to Healthy Streets. This approach is about prioritising walking, cycling and public transport to create a healthy city.

Our proposals would mean more people using public transport. With less traffic in Procter Street, streets would be safer and more attractive for walking and cycling, and bus journeys are less likely to be delayed. This would reduce pollution and improve air quality
in the area.

Our proposal – The existing Kingsway station entrance

Holborn station does not have step-free access.

The existing station entrance on Kingsway would be changed to provide space for two lifts which would give step-free access from the street to trains. A third separate lift would provide access to the eastbound Central line platform. All other platforms would have direct access via the two lifts from the Kingsway entrance.

This would give a greater choice of travel options and directly benefit:

  • Older people
  • People with accessibility requirements
  • Parents and carers with children and pushchairs
  • People with heavy luggage or shopping

The station would remain open while the Procter Street entrance and new escalator connections are being built. Once these have been completed and the new entrance is open, the Kingsway station entrance would be closed for about 18 months to allow the lifts to be installed. At the same time we would also improve the existing station entrance and ticket gates.

Below ground there would be more space. One of the two disused Aldwych line platforms would be brought back in to use to form a new Piccadilly line concourse, reducing the amount of tunnelling we have to do.

Indicative sketch showing layout of our proposals for the Kingsway entrance including new lifts and ticket gate line

Future consultation and engagement

We plan to carry out further public consultations on:

  • How we plan to build the new station entrance and manage the construction impacts as far as reasonably practical
  • Changes to the road and public realm in Procter Street (together with Camden Council)

We would agree a Code of Construction Practice with Camden Council, setting out the standards and construction techniques that would be followed. This code would include:

  • Air quality
  • Contaminated land
  • Construction noise and vibration mitigation scheme
  • Ecology
  • Energy management
  • General site operations
  • Ground movement
  • Historic environment
  • Materials and waste management
  • Traffic and transport

Future consultations will also include how we plan to work towards a Healthy Streets approach.

Camden Council will lead on the consultation on changes to the public realm in Procter Street.

Indicative sketch showing proposed new station entrance at Procter Street (looking north from High Holborn)

Indicative sketch showing interior of proposed new station entrance at Procter Street

Next steps

What will happen next?

  • Your views will be taken into account in developing the scheme
  • A summary of responses will be published online on this page,
  • We will apply to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order which would give us powers to build the scheme
  • There is likely to be a public inquiry
  • Subject to permissions and funding the upgrade work would start in 2021 and take about six years

Additional documents

We have produced a number of documents which provide further information:


  1. Project overview
  2. Consultation and engagement
  3. Heritage, townscape and visual impact
  4. Timeline
  5. Transport and Works Act Order
  6. Funding and finance
  7. Public safety, security and crime prevention

Equality Impact Assessment

Please contact us at if you would like a copy of this document.

Procter Street entrance option

We have a number of technical documents available alongside this consultation that set out how we developed a short list of options for the new entrance and reached the preferred option on Procter Street. Please note these are technical documents about the Station Capacity Upgrade (SCU) and some have very large file sizes. If you do wish to download these documents and have difficulty doing so please contact us at


Document Name



Holborn SCU Feasibility Report (Hyder)

November 2014


Holborn SCU Feasibility Report Appendices (Hyder)

November 2014


Holborn SCU Feasibility Design Refinement Report (Hyder/ Arcadis)

June 2015


Holborn SCU Concept Design Report (Arcadis)

August 2016


Holborn Station User Survey (SDG)

September 2016



  • Capacity improvements to Holborn station - Public Exhibition 1

    From 10 Oct 2017 at 08:00 to 10 Oct 2017 at 20:00

    We are holding a public exhibition at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.

  • Capacity improvements to Holborn station - Public Exhibition 2

    From 11 Oct 2017 at 08:00 to 11 Oct 2017 at 20:00

    We are holding a public exhibition at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.

  • Capacity improvements to Holborn station - Public Exhibition 3

    From 12 Oct 2017 at 08:00 to 12 Oct 2017 at 20:00

    We are holding a public exhibition at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.


  • Camden
  • City of London


  • Anyone from any background


  • Underground station upgrades