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Wrong Side of the Tracks? The Development of London’s Railway Terminus Neighbourhoods

Bolton, T; (2018) Wrong Side of the Tracks? The Development of London’s Railway Terminus Neighbourhoods. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The commonly-used phrase ‘the wrong side of the tracks’ implies that railway lines separate places as a matter of course, with economic and social consequences. London has more railway termini than any other world city, with apparent economic, social and spatial differences between places located in front of them and those behind. Contemporary research focuses on transport functions, on the economic potential of station buildings and on the potential for rail to increase catalyse redevelopment, while ignoring their role as the largest buildings in the city, creating separation within the street network. This thesis analyses eight main London railway termini in two time periods: the 1880s and the 2010s. These stations are served by different infrastructure types, from cuttings to viaducts, which form movement barriers in areas located behind them, which are also associated with social decline and post-industrial redevelopment. Space syntax analysis uncovers the impacts of railway termini and their associated structures on movement networks. The economic and social character of areas around the stations is then analysed, to identify differences between neighbourhoods in front of and behind stations. Historical data is mapped and compared with contemporary data, including land uses for both periods and social data from the Booth Poverty Survey, which is compared to contemporary income estimates. Analysis of spatial, social and economic character shows how the railway has influenced neighbourhoods located behind termini over a long period of time. The nature of this influence depends on infrastructure type, viaducts being associated with less separation than other railway structures. This research is significant for the long-term redevelopment of railway termini, demonstrating their importance as an integral part of the city and the significance of understanding the separation they create.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Wrong Side of the Tracks? The Development of London’s Railway Terminus Neighbourhoods
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Railway, terminals, london, infrastructure, booth, separation, neighbourhoods
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566758
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