March 10 2014 Latest news:
Harry Kemble, Reporter
Friday, January 10, 2014
Crossrail and Redbridge Council will work together to ensure improvements to the borough’s four stations brings them up to a higher standard, says the council leader.
Last month Richard Rogers, the architect behind Heathrow’s Terminal 5 building, warned the 27 surface stations have not received the same consideration as the eight new Crossrail stations in central London.
The £15bn London line, which will stretch 73 miles from Berkshire to Shenfield, via the city centre, is due to be finished in 2018.
Cllr Keith Prince, the council leader, moved to allay fears that Crossrail was culpable of “cost-cutting” and had overlooked Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Chadwell Heath in its plans.
He said: “My understanding is we are having ongoing talks with Crossrail, Network Rail and Transport for London about the work we are doing around the stations which will have a massive improvement.
“It would be incredibly disappointing if this opportunity was lost to bring these [Redbridge] stations up to a higher standard.
Cllr Prince added: “I am not aware at this stage that what we are discussing will not happen, so I am going to have a chat with our partners and see what the ramifications are.”
The council agreed at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting to fund £2,012,000 to the estimated cost of the improvements around the four Crossrail stations in the borough.
A figure of £8m has been recommended by the Highways and Cleansing services for the overall cost of all the redevelopment work.
Concerns for London’s surface stations has existed since 2009 when Crossrail set up the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe) - the expert “design review panel” - to scrutinise plans for central London stations alone.
Crossrail responded by pointing out that the approach for stations in Redbridge – like the rest of north-east London – has indeed been different to those in the city centre.
But a spokesman insisted “huge amounts of time, effort and planning” is going into the redevelopment of the 27 surface stations.
A Crossrail spokesperson said: “Crossrail stations in central and southeast London are new build and as such we sought the design input of Cabe.
“The approach on the surface section has been different, as we are working closely with local councils and business and community groups to make improvements to existing stations.
“A huge amount of time, effort and planning is going into delivering station improvements on the surface section of the route and we believe that these can be satisfactorily designed and delivered by working directly with local authorities.”