Plans to upgrade two tube stations can proceed after funding for the projects to add capacity and step-free access was secured last week as part of the Levelling Up package. Plans to upgrade the two stations are already in development, so the funding agreement should see both progress swiftly to the construction phase.

In north London, Colindale tube station on the Northern line is the closest to completion of planning work, having been underway since 2018. The plans will see the current rather modest station entrance replaced with a large sweeping timber building that’ll become a local landmark. Some of the cost of the station rebuild comes from a property development that Transport for London (TfL) is planning on some land they own next to the station.

The new ticket hall will come with nine ticket barriers (compared to 5 at the moment), and the introduction of step-free access to the platform level with the provision of a new lift, which will sit between the two existing staircases down to the platform level.

Planning approval was granted in July 2019, but the project stalled during the pandemic. Now that £29.5 million in Levelling Up funding has been secured, the construction work could start later this year.

Colindale station concept – source planning documents

In east London, Leyton tube station on the Central line is also set for a large upgrade to help cope with overcrowding and provide step-free access to the station.

The overcrowding can result in queues in the morning building up outside the station, where the pavement is quite narrow. In the evening, crowds can build up on the platform waiting to leave, and can still be there when the next train arrives to disgorge more passengers. At times, the station has to open the emergency staircase to help crowds get out of the station.

The proposals to upgrade the station will see a new ticket hall built next to the existing ticket hall which would be over three times the size of the old one, with 8 passenger gates, compared to the existing 5 gates. The replacement staircases will land near the centre of the platforms rather than at the western end meaning that crowding is likely to be reduced and boarding/alighting less skewed. The station would also gain step-free access with new lifts being added.

Funding for this station has been in limbo since the pandemic, as although Waltham Forest council had agreed to cover £9 million of the roughly £20 million cost, TfL wasn’t in a position to fund its portion. As part of the Levelling Up awards, around £14 million has been allocated to get the station upgrade works started.

Leyton station hasn’t gone through the planning process yet, so TfL needs to complete design development work and submit that for formal planning approval, which is likely to happen later this year.

Leyton station concept – source Waltham Forest council consultation

Lucinda Turner, Assistant Director of Planning at the GLA and Director of Spatial Planning at TfL, said: “Making our transport network more accessible and inclusive is a top priority, as we know that a more accessible public transport network benefits everyone. These schemes are also key to supporting sustainable growth in these areas and help unlock the delivery of thousands of new homes.

“We’re delighted that, by working hand in hand with the boroughs, the joint bid with City Hall to fund making Colindale and Leyton Tube stations step-free has been successful. We look forward to working with the Government and local boroughs on these projects, as well as other successful bids in London that will enable increased walking, cycling and public transport.”


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  1. David dowsett says:

    How about reopening the gate at the far end of the platform which would give a lot of people a quicker route to and from there residential areas. And keeping them away from the busy high road

    • ianVisits says:

      I refer you to the reply I gave you the last time you asked the same question.

    • ASLEF shrugged says:

      The gate at the east end of the westbound platform was never a passenger exit/entrance. It is used for bin storage and I doubt if ORR or LFEPA would accept it as suitable for passenger use.

      There used to be a separate ticket hall at that end on bridge that took Langthorne Road over the track but both were demolished in the 1990s during construction of the M11/A12 bypass

  2. Chris Rogers says:

    Hmm I’d assumed Colindale station was due to be built anyway, but perhaps not. Confusing though as your 202o update said the funding was coming from the flats (of which there are far too many in the area anyway). Meanwhile step free access to the existing Burnt Oak platforms has been kicked into the long grass, 4 years this summer after prep work started by closing the waiting room (which remains closed).

  3. the wub says:

    Glad to hear Leyton station upgrade got its funding. It was my local station when I moved to London 10 years ago, and was in desperate need of it even then. The supposed “emergency” staircase was open as a matter of course during the evening rush hour or around Orient matches. It’s a tricky site with the A12 so close, so will be interesting to see how the upgrade works out.

  4. simhedges says:

    Somehow upgrading tube stations in the wealthiest town in the UK wasn’t what sprang to mind when the Tories started talking about “levelling up”.

    • ianVisits says:

      London also has some of the poorest boroughs in the UK – levelling up is to lift everyone out of poverty, not just the north.

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