Last Friday some local business people and myself met with TfL to discuss the Northern Line Extension (NLE) which is expected to have a negative effect on some local businesses (particularly for the three years or so while the NLE tunnelling works are going on). The possibility of increasing the amount of commercial space at the Oval Station was raised as this could help make the area more attractive to shoppers. One possibility was to convert the lower area of the offices to the left of the station entrance (see picture below). There are no plans to do this at the moment but any developments which help increase foot fall in an area tend to help other local shops/businesses.
The Oval Station was partially upgraded in 2007/08. The upgrade did not include a much needed cash machine and local residents have to pay to withdraw their cash nearby. In contrast, St James Park Station (TfL/London Underground offices) has three cash machines. Although that station is busier, the Oval Station is sufficiently busy to merit at least one free withdrawal machine. The station currently has a small café, shoe repair shop and news vendor. However, the flower seller that had been a feature of the station for many years has now gone.
The Oval Station opened in 1890. In 2012, there were 6.1 million entry and exits making it the 114th largest of 268 tube stations. On a typical weekday, some 10,000 passengers enter and 9,000 exit the station. No doubt there is some reason for the difference – perhaps people are more likely to leave the area by tube but use other means of transport to arrive. Those who use the station regularly will know about the ‘Oval Station thought for the day’ that appears on a notice board near the top of the escalators. If you don’t go to the station often then you can always try following them on twitter @Oval_Station to see what the latest thought is.