Consultant Scott Wilson has won a contract to design the first phase of a £500m upgrade of Victoria Underground station in central London.

Wilson has appointed architect Scott Brownrigg is to draw up the plans, as part of the £4m contract from Transport for London.

Victoria, London's busiest Tube station, handles 34,000 people during the morning rush hour. When work is finished, the station will be 50% bigger with a new ticket hall, lifts and escalators.

Bryan Hyland, project director for Scott Wilson, said: “We’ll be looking to improve the exits for the Victoria Line to begin with, as this is where most of the congestion happens. We’ll be putting in additional escalators and will increase access at the north end of the station.

“We’ve got a 76-week programme to develop the design so we can take it to parliament for a transport and works order and then take it forward to a design-and-build contract.”

Expansion: The station will be 50% bigger
Expansion: The station will be 50% bigger

The site of the Underground station will pose difficulties for the project team, as it is surrounded by listed buildings and proposed developments. Access to the site will also be restricted because of the need to keep traffic flowing around the station.

Developer Land Securities has drawn up a masterplan for the land surrounding the station. Plans include a mixed-use scheme of offices, retail and residential units. It is expected to submit a detailed planning application to Westminster council by the end of the year.

Turner & Townsend will be cost consultant on the station upgrade, Warrington Fire will oversee the fire strategy, construction consultant will be Morgan Est and assurance will be provided by Approved Inspector Services.

The project is due to start in 2008 and will be completed by 2013.