Leyton News

Leyton Station step-free work could start by July

The news comes after Waltham Forest Council and TfL finalised a funding agreement, reports Josh Mellor, Local Democracy Reporter

Works to make Leyton Station step-free could start by next July after Waltham Forest Council finalised a funding agreement with Transport for London (TfL).

The upgrade to the Central Line station would increase capacity and add step-free access for the first time.

A Waltham Forest Council cabinet report published this week says a finalised funding agreement with TfL means construction could start by July 2024.

An upgrade to the station, which is “severely overcrowded” during peak periods, is one of the few station upgrade projects TfL is progressing with in the wake of the financial uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the council committing £9million from new developments, the upgrade appeared unlikely to go ahead until the government awarded the Greater London Authority (GLA) – which governs TfL – £13million in Levelling Up funding.

In the financial agreement, the GLA has also reportedly committed £500,000 and Waltham Forest’s contribution could be reduced if costs are lower than estimated.

Increasing capacity is seen as key in the council’s plans to “unlock” 7,000 new homes within 1km of the station, including on the Leyton Mills retail park and New Spitalfields Market.

Waltham Forest describes the station as a “gateway to Leyton” and the south of the borough, leading to the town centre, Leyton Orient Football Club, Leyton Sports Ground and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

There is also a “significant issue” of access to the London Underground for residents in the south of the borough, as neither Leytonstone, Leytonstone High Road nor Leyton Midland Road stations have step-free access.

Although concept designs have been approved and detailed planning was commissioned in August, a spokesperson for TfL declined to share any images or details of the new station layout with the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A design concept published by the council in 2019 suggests a new building could be installed parallel to the platforms, on an area of land sandwiched between the eastbound platform and the A12 that is used as an additional exit during peak hours.

However, a TfL spokesperson said the image may not have any bearing on the final station design.

The next steps will be final business case approval by the Department for Transport, appointing a construction contractor and submitting a planning application to Waltham Forest Council.

The council report says the upgrade will ensure Leyton station is “future-proofed” to meet passenger demand up to 2041, plus an additional 30%.