Stratford station could be radically redeveloped under plans being worked on by the rail companies and local council.

Stratford Station is now estimated to be the seventh busiest Network Rail station in the UK, and one of the top stations on the TfL network. As such it’s straining to cope with demand, with a fragmented layout and narrow corridors between the platforms. Having part of the DLR run through the middle of the lower platforms also causes a significant bottleneck for people trying to get to/from the Jubilee line platforms.

Although the details are at an exceptionally early stage, the scale of transformation needed is described as being “similar to what has been seen at Kings Cross and London Bridge”.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the regeneration agency responsible for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is leading on the plans as part of its work alongside Network Rail, Newham Council, and TfL.

They’ve now awarded a contract to the spatial design agency, 5th Studio to develop plans that look at how Stratford station can be improved as an interchange and how it links to the nearby International Station. The study will also assess how better connectivity could be formed between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stratford Town Centre.

The work they are carrying out will then feed into the business case for the long-term redevelopment of Stratford Regional Station.

This is still a very early stage of any plans, and funding is also not yet secured for an upgrade. However, as the implications are that a redevelopment on the scale of the central London stations is needed, then Stratford could see a substantial station rebuild arriving in the 2030s.

Rosanna Lawes, Executive Director of Development at LLDC, said: “The scale of regeneration on and around the Park has meant that passenger usage at Stratford Station has trebled over the past ten years.”

“This essential work will not only help us make a case to government which secures Stratford as an appealing place to work, live and visit, but it will also help us identify ways in which we can improve local connectivity and job opportunities for nearby residents.”

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18 comments
  1. Brian Butterworth says:

    Can’t come soon enough!

    Given that extra interchanges with the Central Line once the Liz Line gets working though, I suspect work will need to start sooner than 2030.

    And will they renumber the platforms? They are a confusing mess with 1 and 2 near 11, 10a being a separate platform from 10, but 3a sharing trains with 3, some DLR platforms sharing a number (4a/4b but other not 16/17). And yet … no platform 7.

    I can’t think of a station with more different types of platform displays: everything from 1980-style teletext ones, neon ones, plasma and more fonts than a Letraset catalogue.

    • TMI says:

      The idiomatic normalisation of signage is very much part of the accompanying short and medium term investment led by Network Rail, working alongside TfL and MTREL.

  2. John Gudgin says:

    Got to wonder, why, with the station as it is, at breaking point, they continue to build 30+ storey buildings, adding thousands more families to an area that can’t cope with the amount of people already here.

  3. John Cartledge says:

    Let’s hope that this time they ensure that any new windows are so positioned that they can actually be cleaned.

    Changes to platform numbers have previously been ruled out on the grounds that although passengers could apparently cope with them, signallers could not.

  4. D says:

    Whilst they at it they should double track the DLR from Bow to Stratford.

  5. F says:

    With the Elizabeth line due to open in 2022, that will increase passenger numbers in Stratford, combined with one of the UK’s busiest shopping centres, with a park the size of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined.

    Not to mention the proposed V&A Museum, Sadlers Wells Ballet Company and BBC studio and the fact that Stratford is a 2/3 zone to name but a few.

    This will be a good example for social distancing!

  6. Melvyn says:

    Given how Crossrail 2 has been all but cancelled I reckon the London Overground service should take over the service to Meridian Water and maybe even extended to Broxbourne thus creating part of Crossrail 2 at a fraction of the cost !

    Stratford still I believe still has platforms without direct lift access .

    The station could do with an upgrade similar to that carried out at London Bridge with a new open lower level with escalators serving platforms across the station .

    Hopefully, plans to fully double the DLR will take place to increase frequency.

    • Sean says:

      All platforms have lift access though not from all subways.

    • Saturn says:

      London Overground does not need to be busier then is already is.

      A better idea is to make Greater Anglia services from the Lea Valley Lines go though Stratford instead of Hackney Downs towards Liverpool Street.

      This will increase the number of trains to Stratford from Liverpool Street
      but the 3rd track to Meridian Water will become useless for now as most passengers get off at Tottenham Hale which most services stop at but this will probably change with Meridian Water’s future.

  7. Chris M says:

    If money and disruption were no object then I’d move the Central and Elizabeth line to new, wide, below-ground platforms (maintaining cross-platform interchange), spread out the remaining east-west platforms to use the space generated and extend the high-level DLR to Maryland (the burying of Crossrail would mean it couldn’t serve the current platforms there. DLR would make better use of that station than Crossrail anyway).
    If money and disruption are considerations then this is probably too ambitious for this generation, unfortunately.

  8. James Miller says:

    There is the unused double-track loop under the Eastfield Shopping Centre, which used to turn Stansted Express trains. Surely, it could handle up to upwards of twelve trains per hour (tph) from an upgraded West Anglia Great Line from places as diverse as Bishops Stortford, Broxbourne, Cambridge, Chingford via Hall Farm Curve, Enfield Town via Seven Sisters, Heetford East and Stansted Airport.

    There could be a twelve tph Lea Valley Metro between Stratford and Broxbourne.

    The loop could also have a platform to connect to the International station.

    It’s time for the station to be deTopsified!

    • Dan Coleman says:

      The problem is that the junctions in the area are all flat, which means West Anglia trains would clash with Overground and freight trains using the already crowded North London Line. Nice idea though!

    • Chris Wood says:

      The only Eastfield Shopping Centre I can find on Google is in Melbourne Australia. Puzzled.

  9. Dan Coleman says:

    Welcome news! Stratford has been a victim of its own success. The complicated station layout causes no end of confusion, particularly at rush hour when the one-way system is enforced.

    I’m interested to see how the station might be rationalised and rebuilt. As the article states the biggest bottleneck is caused by the DLR dividing the concourse in half. Also you’ve got the annoying problem of the Central line diving down to tunnel at both ends, making the position of the platforms pretty much fixed.

    Hopefully it’s more substantial than the “just add another entrance” approach seen in recent years.

  10. Alex Mckenna says:

    One small improvement would be to remove the staff (?) room at the top of the stairs on the Eastbound Central Line/Crossrail platform. That area is dangerously overcrowded in rush hours.
    Also re-opening the Easternmost entrance and linking it to the East subway might take some pressure off..

    • TMI says:

      The operational room is proposed to be removed within NR’s short term congestion relief project.

  11. Daniela says:

    Another improvement and a massive change will be to improve the toilets. It’s an embarrassing, one of the busiest stations in London, to have to most miserable and absolutely gross and disgusting toilets ever! If you want to vomit your guts, go use the toilet in Stratford Station.

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