Wembley Park station has been enlarged in connection with the new Wembley Stadium which is due to open in 2007; improvements also took place at Wembley Central and Wembley Stadium stations.
The new Wembley Stadium has been designed as a public transport only destination, as it is difficult to accommodate private vehicles for events in the area. Therefore, upgrades have been completed for the three stations serving Wembley - most importantly at Wembley Park (Metropolitan and Jubilee lines, carrying 58% of rail passengers to the stadium), but also at Wembley Central (Bakerloo line, Silverlink Metro and County; 34% share of rail passengers) and the smaller but most centrally-located station, Wembley Stadium (Chiltern Railways; 8% share of rail passengers).
90,000 people can turn up to stadium events, and public transport will provide 100 trains per hour to the area.
All stations have had lifts installed.
Work was carried out by Transport for London in partnership with the London Development Agency, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Wembley National Stadium Ltd, the London Borough of Brent, and other stakeholders. £70m has been invested by TfL, the LDA, the Greater London Authority (GLA), and the Stadium owners through Section 106 contributions (which require developers to provide funds to mitigate the transport impacts of their developments).
The current Wembley Park station, which serves the bulk of Wembley Stadium traffic (as opposed to Chiltern's Wembley Stadium station or the Bakerloo/Silverlink Wembley Central station) could previously handle around 22,000 passengers per hour (assuming most travel southbound).
The upgrade involved building a larger ticket hall, wider entrance staircase, and adding new staircases to the platforms, and allows a maximum capacity of 37,500 passengers per hour - a 70% increase.
This is a list of the improvements:
Some weekend closures, either of the whole station or particular platforms, were necessary. Much of this work was finished by September 2005.
The addition of extra platforms for Chiltern Railways' services between Marylebone and Aylesbury was considered but rejected as too expensive.
Car parking for stadium events will be provided in Docklands adjacent to the Jubilee line.
For events, 12,000 passengers per hour are expected to arrive via Wembley Central on London Underground's Bakerloo line or on Silverlink's Metro (London-Watford) or County (London-Northampton) services. This is an increase of 2,000 people.
Improvement work included:
The footbridge is only for match days, and connects to London Road and Station Grove. The shopping centre above the platforms is to be redeveloped. All platforms now have lifts except the narrow central platform island, which has a stairlift.
Toilets have been installed in the station, and platforms 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 have been refurbished, with new paving. Platforms 3 and 4 will be for emergencies only; due to lack of paths on the fast lines, no Virgin West Coast services would stop. Silverlink County will stop during events - a half hourly service is planned - however there are also pathing problems on the slow lines used by County services.
For events, 7,000 passengers per hour are expected to arrive via Chiltern Railways' smaller station called Wembley Stadium.
A new, state of the art pedestrian bridge provides event day capacity of approximately 7,000 people each hour (an extra 1,000). It also gives improved access to Wembley Central and to the town centre. Lift and stair access are provided to the platforms, and the old access ramps from Wembley Hill Road have been closed.
The footbridge connects South Way to Wembley Hill Road, therefore linking the Stadium itself to the High Road and Wembley Central. The footbridge consists of two twin arch bridges, both with a concrete/steel deck suspended by steel cables from the arches. The bridges have capacity for the 12,000 people per hour walking to or from Wembley Central (the width is between 40 and 56m). During events, those people will use one bridge, and passengers accessing Wembley Stadium station will use the other bridge.
Work at Wembley Stadium station was completed by February 2006.
A bus/rail interchange is also proposed at Wembley Stadium, which TfL supports. This would involve rerouting bus services to Wembley Stadium, with new bus stops immediately north of South Way on Wembley Hill Road. (Presumably the rerouted bus services would be the ones that currently use Park Lane, i.e. the 79, 204, 223 & 297; these buses would continue along the High Road and use Wembley Hill Road.)
The Mayor opened the expanded Wembley Park station, which was completed on time and on budget. A larger ticket hall, widened stairs, new lifts and other improvements will allow an extra 15,000 passengers per hour to pass through the station. Although the new Stadium itself is now not expected to open until 2007, other developments in the area are expected to make use of the additional capacity.
Improvements start at Wembley Park station this week, although some weekend closures of the station will be necessary in the future to enable this modernisation work to take place. A section of the car park will also be closed in connection with the works.
London Underground have stated that the work to modernise Wembley Park station will start on 1 March 2004.
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