Report by Victoria Munro, Local Democracy Reporter
An expanded and step-free Leyton Underground Station is due to open in March 2023, with work set to begin in August next year.
Waltham Forest Council has agreed to provide £9million of funding for the £18m project, while the other £9m will be paid by Transport for London (TfL). The deal gives the local authority the ability to terminate the agreement and even insist on being repaid if TfL takes longer than 40 months to complete the work.
A council report stated that the current station can “simply not function safely in its current layout with additional demand” meaning that regeneration plans for Leyton “would be put at risk” if the revamp does not go ahead. Council leader Clare Coghill has previously compared it to “a well-loved teddy bear with its eyes fallen out”.
The station will be expanded to meet an expected rise in demand – by 2041 the council plans to have built at least 15,000 new homes in Leyton and the surrounding area. Plans were recently approved for 750 homes at one development opposite Leyton Orient’s football ground.
Providing lifts between street level and the platforms will also remove a “significant barrier” to disabled and older people using the station, as well as those with children in buggies.
Of 14 rail and tube stations in Waltham Forest, only four are deemed wheelchair accessible.