Stratford Station upgrade proposed alongside thousands of new homes

The station in neighbouring Newham borough has become the fifth-busiest in the whole country, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Stratford Station has become extremely busy in recent years
Stratford Station has become extremely busy in recent years

A major redevelopment of one of the country’s busiest train stations has been proposed.

The upgrade plans at Stratford Station – which include some 2,000 new homes – have been developed by Newham Council, Network Rail, Transport for London and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

The organisations have put together a business case for the scheme, which they this week submitted to the government. The plans would see capacity significantly boosted and a simplified layout adopted – to enable passengers to better navigate between the many different rail services that stop there.

The business case claims that the enhanced station would create up to 10,000 new jobs and 150,000 sqm of commercial space. New retail and community space would be centred around a major new public square, while up to 2,000 new homes would be built – 50% of which are proposed to be ‘genuinely affordable’.

In addition, the submission says the scheme would support the growth of east London, raising productivity while reducing carbon emissions.

The work follows increasing concerns about the future capacity of the station and overcrowding.

Stratford is one of the UK’s busiest stations with more than 128 million passenger movements recorded in 2019, an increase of 90 million in just 13 years.

In 2022 the station was the fifth-busiest in the whole of the UK and is one of the UK’s most important strategic transport interchanges, linking London with Essex and the east of England, the Thames Estuary and Kent.

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Rokhsana Fiaz, the Labour mayor of Newham, said: “The business case submitted to government today outlines plans to transform the confusing, constrained and crowded layout at the station.

“We need a modern, thriving transport hub so that Stratford continues to support the growth of East London and deliver more homes and jobs.

“We are predicting a 60% growth in passenger numbers by 2041 which is why we urgently need to plan now to improve the station.

“The investment will bring major benefits to commuters, businesses and local communities; stimulating growth which will be felt by the people of Newham, Londoners and the wider UK economy as well.”

Lyn Garner, the LLDC’s chief executive, said: “Stratford is home to the most successful post-Olympic regeneration with thousands of new homes and jobs.

“A station fit for purpose is vital to drive the success of projects already in the pipeline like East Bank, major events and additional housing and jobs.”

Following the submission of the business case for the project, the partnership will now develop more detailed plans for the station’s redevelopment, which will be submitted to government in the next few years.

Businesses and institutions supporting the proposals include East Bank, Here East, Westfield Stratford City, London City Airport, Stansted Airport, Notting Hill Genesis and Stratford BID.

The issue was recently raised at City Hall by Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat on the London Assembly. She proposed a motion, voted for unanimously at a June meeting, which gave the assembly’s backing for the scheme and called on London mayor Sadiq Khan to “do all in his power to support this vital project”.

She told her assembly colleagues: “Straford cannot carry on as it is, as a station. It has UK-wide and international significance […] Overcrowding on platforms and station subways has led to temporary closures – those will become the norm is nothing is done.”

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