The burning question on absolutely nobody’s mind but my own is “Which way do people turn when they come out of the Oval Station?”
This apparently trivial question has something to do with the Northern Line Extension and its’ impact on shops/businesses along the Oval Parade. When the proposed Nine Elms Station opens, at least some local residents/employees will use that station instead of the Oval. This will, theoretically, result in a reduction in numbers of people walking along the Oval Parade and if that happens, some shops may lose out. The following survey is not intended to be statistically robust but it hopefully gives an indication of the problem that businesses may face.
Standing outside the Oval Station for one hour (from 17:20pm), the numbers entering and leaving the Oval Station were counted. Of those leaving the station, the direction was noted Here are the results of the survey:
517 exited the station and 415 entered
Of the 517 who exited the station:
* 289 (56%) crossed the road towards St Marks Church;
* 165 (32%) walked along the Oval Parade;
* 43 (8%) crossed the road towards Kennington Park Estate;
* 20 (4%) walked back towards the Oval.
In 2012, the average weekday exit figures for the Oval Station were 9,138. Assuming 32% pass along the Oval Parade we have approximately 2,900 passing along there each day (each way). Many will cross the Clapham Road but a proportion will make their way towards South Lambeth Road. It is this proportion that may prefer to use a new station at Nine Elms. Short of asking everyone where they live and how much they spend it is not practical to determine an actual economic impact but a range can be estimated using some basic assumptions.
Assuming 100 divert to Nine Elms having spent an average £2 per day along the Oval Parade, local shops would lose in the order of £50k from their turnover. If 200 diverted, £100k would be lost etc. As a very rough rule of thumb, £50k turnover in a retail business equates to roughly one job or for a service business roughly two jobs. Again as a very rough rule of thumb, for each 100 reduction in foot fall approximately 1.5 jobs would be lost.
The NLE will almost certainly result in a reduction of footfall along the Oval Parade and a corresponding reduction in turnover on those shops/businesses that depend on that footfall. No one can know for certain what that reduction will be. The effect may prove negligible or large enough to put some shops out of business.
In terms of impact on particular shops it is known that not all businesses will be affected equally. For example, estate agents rely increasingly on the internet. In contrast, delicatessens, cafes, gift shops etc. rely almost entirely on foot fall and they are the ones that will be most affected should the NLE result in a reduction of footfall along the Oval Parade.