Work has started on building a new entrance at Stratford station in East London which will make it much easier for people living to the west of the station to use get to the trains.

New southwestern entrance (c) Planning documents – Hawkins\Brown Architects

At the moment, Stratford station’s main entrance faces the old town, with new entrances linking it with the Westfield shopping centre and Olympic Park. However, although the station building is right next to the Carpenters Estate on the western side, people living there have to either use a narrow footbridge over the railway or a long detour to get to the station.

Work has now started to turn a small staff car park and a fire escape that sits next to the station into a public entrance which will make life much easier for a lot of people, especially for mobility-impaired passengers who will now have step-free access to the station.

When it opens early next year, the new entrance will sit right next to the Jubilee line platforms, replacing the existing fire escape that leads into the staff car park outside.

The location of the new entrance, next to the Jubilee line platforms

The new entrance from the Carpenters Estate side – was a car park and is now a construction site.

The narrow footbridge over the railway that people currently use to get to/from the station

Plans were actually approved all the way back in 2017, but the pandemic notwithstanding, it’s taken quite a few years to get construction underway. That’s in part due to a change in the design in 2019 after inspections found unexpected below-ground utilities which pushed the cost of the project over budget, and had to be reviewed to bring it back in line with the funds available.

They also had to move the new ticket hall entrance slightly to avoid high voltage cabling and the Channel Sea culvert that runs underneath the site.

There have also been some changes to increase planting in the newly opened space, and they’ve changed the paving to a form of permeable paving which allows rainwater to soak through to the ground below instead of being directed into drains.

When it opens the new entrance will come with four gatelines, which includes two Wide-Aisle Gates, and there is potential for another gate to be added if future capacity demands. There will also be two ticket vending machines, a passenger help point and a service announcement display board at the new entrance.

Naturally, there’s space being created for a retail unit, to sit in a released space underneath one of the DLR arches.

The £8.4 million project is a joint initiative between Newham Council, Transport for London (TfL), who will oversee construction, with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

Newham Council will contribute £1m from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), while LLDC will provide £3.4m from its S106 and CIL agreements with local developers and £4m comes from the GLA’s Strategic Infrastructure Fund.

Designed by Fereday Pollard Architects and Hawkins\Brown, the construction work will be carried by by Taylor Wimpey BAM Nuttall (TWBN) with an estimated completion date of early 2024.

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