Plans to build flats on the car park at Stanmore station have been amended to keep most of the car park and add step-free access to the tube station.

At the moment, the platforms and ticket machines are several flights of stairs down from the main road above. There is a long winding outdoor ramp down to the platforms, but it’s narrow, and not really ideal for access – especially if going up.

Main entrance stairs

There have long been calls for something to be done to improve the station, not just for local people, but also because the station is close to the nearby Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and has a lot of patients using it.

As part of TfL’s general plans to build flats on its land, it had proposed to build several blocks on the car park that’s next to the station. This prompted a lot of local opposition, worried about the loss of the car park. In truth, it’s less a local commuter station than a park and ride car park for people driving into London, especially when there’s an event a few stops down the Jubilee line at Wembley.

Overview – from the planning application

However, the plans have been changed to retain two-thirds, or 300, of the car parking spaces in a basement car park.

The other major issue raised in early consultations was to improve the step-free access to Stanmore station, and they’ve adjusted the plans now to add a lift that will take people from street level down to the level of the platforms, then a short walk to the ticket barriers.

Station and new lift entrance – from the planning application

The lift won’t be in the station itself, as that would prove rather challenging, so it will sit in the closest of the new residential flats – next to the station. An entrance lobby in the block behind a new retail outlet will provide access to the TfL lift and a 125 capacity cycle hub.

The space between the station and the lift entrance is currently overgrown, so the planning documents show it being opened up, which apart from being more pleasing to look at, should make the lift entrance easier to find.

Station and new lift entrance – from the planning application

As a (soon to be ex-) user of the station though, I would find the biggest improvement would be to fix a rather curious crossover that takes place by the ticket barrier.

Generally, the exit side of the ticket barriers is on the east and the entrance side on the west. Yet, most people arriving at the station walk down the east side of the staircase, then crossover to the west side to the barriers – which causes a problem for people going the other way.

I’ve long suspected its the placement of the free newspaper bin at the top of the stairs which causes that curious, and in rush hour, quite annoying behaviour oddity.


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  1. Dave says:

    Removing any car parking at stations is a big mistake

  2. Chris Rogers says:

    From an architectural and engineering PoV it’s interesting seeing how suburban stations are adapted for step free access, given the usual challenge is that the street and platform levels are slid horizontally apart – easy to connect by stairs, much less so by lift. In all cases you need to thus get people down and along or vice versa, which in turn means ugly (often) towers and walkways. The works at Burnt Oak are a case in point.

  3. Simon says:

    10 years ago when I was temporarily in a wheelchair, I wrote to TFL and to the GLA to point out that Stanmore’s so called step-free access was impossible to navigate when self-propelled a manual wheelchair as the long outdoor ramp didn’t actually take you up to street level. Having almost got up to street level it headed back down into the carpark (the same altitude as the platforms) and you had to then use the ramp that cars drive up in 2nd gear.

    I also asked why Stanmore had not put in disabled access when it had construction work to put in a 3rd platform.

    I also pointed out that there was a small bit of wasteland that could be used to extend the winding outdoor ramp to the street level, so it shouldn’t have been too difficult to remedy. Of course it didn’t happen.

  4. Abby says:

    Building so many more flats in an already congested area with many narrow roads is, simply, ludicrous. Then removing 150 parking spaces from 450 when the car park is already frequently full and bus services have been massively reduced in recent years is just cruel. There are many mobility- impaired people and parents of young children who live here and struggle already. I don’t understand why they are doing this. There are so many other areas in Harrow that can take more people without causing difficulties for existing residents.

    • ianvisits says:

      I work in Stanmore and used to live there – a less congested and greener patch of London you would struggle to find. It’s packed full of wide residential roads, large gardens and huge public parks.

      While the main road outside the station is frequently packed with traffic – that’s people commuting to other places, not driving to the station — and I noted that most of the times the car park was full was when people from outside the area parked there during Wembley events.

      If I were minded to build an urban density block of flats anywhere, right next to Stanmore station would be an ideal location. Good transport links, close to the shops, and huge woodlands and parks to relax in.

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