Plans to improve Stratford station in East London have taken a step forward after funding for initial studies was secured. Network Rail says that it has secured £2 million in funding from the Department of Transport (DfT) to develop plans to help relieve congestion at Stratford station.
The funding will allow Network Rail to develop an Outline Business Case which will need to be submitted to the DfT in 2022 to seek approval for further funding to progress with the work.
The station needs something done to improve it, as the station has seen passenger numbers soaring since the 2012 Olympics. Between 2019 and 2020, almost 42 million passengers used Stratford station, making it the busiest non-terminal station in London, and the eighth busiest station in the UK. As a comparison, Stratford station has the same number of passengers as Birmingham New Street station but has just a fifth of the space.
Subject to approval and further funding, improvements could help create more room on specific platforms and around entrances to improve circulation space. In collaboration with TfL, other changes could see improved information screens and wayfinding.
The work could take place in phases and passengers may begin to see the first phase of work taking place between late 2022 and 2024 with the potential for more work over the next 5 years.
This may be just a stop-gap though, as there is also a project looking at the potential for a huge redevelopment of the entire station to sort out the muddle of platforms and connections, which has been described as being “similar to what has been seen at Kings Cross and London Bridge”.