Initial plans have been revealed for a £1.55 billion redevelopment of Liverpool Street station that would see it become a two-level station with a much larger entrance built next to the tube station.
The station is the third busiest in the UK and has significant overcrowding problems which are expected to worsen over future years. To deal with this, Network Rail is looking at fixing by adding a lot more floor space for people to wait in, while also improving access into the station.
In a normal year, around 70 million people use Liverpool Street Station, not far off what Heathrow Airport handles in a much larger space, and even after the pandemic induced changes to commuting, numbers are still expected to rise due to increasing amounts of housing developments along the Greater Anglia eastern route.
The plans being tentatively outlined involve a deal with The Shard and Paddington Square developer, Sellar Property Group, and will see the building next to the southern entrance to the mainline station, which is currently occupied by McDonald’s on the ground floor demolished to create the new double-width entrance to the railway station.
Inside the station, the proposals would see the construction of a new two-level station concourse with greatly increased circulation space, and while details are currently at a very early stage, it’s likely that such redevelopment would involve changing the entrance to the tube station as well.
Costs to complete the overall project are currently estimated on a very preliminary basis to be in the order of £1.55 billion. To help fund all this, the existing Andaz hotel on the corner of Liverpool Street station, which is currently owned by Network Rail would be sold to and redeveloped by a joint venture lead by the Sellar Property Group, along with a new office building and “associated ancillary facilities”.
The proposed redevelopment will also improve the presence and efficient permeability and accessibility of the main southern entrances by removing 50 Liverpool Street — the “McDonalds building” — and remodelling the South Eastern Entrance. Although 50 Liverpool Street looks like a good Victorian building, it’s actually a 1990s redevelopment to replace a similar-looking Victorian building that used to be on the site. Other than the reuse of the bricks and its appearance, the bulk of the building is barely 30 years old.
The current indicative date for an award of construction contracts is January 2023, so it’s possible that a planning application with the final details will be issued late next year.
Although not directly related to this project, Liverpool Street station also has another project to improve access, and that’s on the other side of the station where there’s a protected corridor under the offices to allow for an additional two tracks to be added to the railway in the future to reduce delays getting trains in and out of the station.