The dreaded 'Norbiton gap' at Norbiton train station is to be fixed.

Network Rail and South West Trains have agreed to refurbish both platforms at Norbiton starting next year.

Campaigners claimed victory today, though the operators had indicated nearly two years ago work would begin in 2015.

Kingston and Surbiton MP Ed Davey said: "This is great news for people in Norbiton and for anyone who travels to nearby Kingston Hospital by train.

"This is the first time they have committed. Before, it has been promises -  now it is work happening and a commitment to completion.

"I’d like to thank all the local people and groups like One Norbiton who’ve helped us pile on the pressure for this improvement.

"We must all still monitor to make sure the investment happens on time."

Sam McCarthy, from the Network Rail-South West Trains Alliance, said: "We have now begun work to design a solution to reduce the stepping gap and make it easier for passengers using Norbiton station.

"This is a complex piece of work and we are therefore planning for the improvements to be completed by early 2016."

The gulf between the train and the platform edge has proved dangerous for passengers and especially the elderly, the disabled and parents with small children.

Kingston Hospital chief executive Kate Grimes has long backed efforts to persuade the train operators to fix the gap.

She said last year: "I have to get off the train every day. I struggle and I see other people struggle too.

"We would support any action to sort the problem and improve access to public transport."