Construction of the new Crossrail station at Paddington enters a new phase from next month as excavation of the station box gets underway with some changes to transport services in the area.
When complete, Crossrail will significantly reduce journey times from Paddington to the West End, the City and Docklands. Passengers will be able to reach Tottenham Court Road in four minutes, Liverpool Street in nine minutes and Canary Wharf in 16 minutes. Crossrail will also help transform and regenerate the area around Paddington station.
The new Crossrail station will be built under Eastbourne Terrace and Departures Road. To enable excavation of the 260m long station box, Westminster City Council has agreed to a full closure of Eastbourne Terrace from 12 February 2012.
A full closure will cut the time taken to construct the station by two years compared with a partial closure alone, and will reduce the overall impact on commuters, businesses and residents. The closure, in place until early 2014, will make it safer for construction workers to build the foundations and excavate the station box. Once the box structure and excavation is complete, work will get underway to fit-out the new station with platforms, escalators, lifts and other equipment.
All traffic, including buses and taxis, will be diverted to alternative routes. Transport for London will be monitoring the situation closely to assess the impact, keep traffic moving and limit disruption and congestion. Further information about road and bus diversions will be issued by Transport for London ahead of the closure coming into effect.
Andy Mitchell, Crossrail Programme Director said: “Once complete, Crossrail will cut journey times across London as well as creating new journey opportunities. It’s vital that the impact of Crossrail’s construction on central London is kept to a minimum. A full-closure of Eastbourne Terrace will mean that construction of the new station box at Paddington can be completed in two years instead of four years enabling station fit-out to commence and Eastbourne Terrace to be re-opened as soon as possible. Crossrail, Network Rail and TfL have worked closely with Westminster City Council, businesses and residents to do all we can to deliver these major works in the least disruptive way possible.”
Kay Buxton, Chief Executive, Paddington Waterside Partnership said: “The Paddington area has changed beyond recognition and is now one of the fastest growing business and residential areas in the capital with significant further investment underway. The new Crossrail station at Paddington will deliver improved and direct transport connections with areas to the west and east of the capital as well as with London’s other major employment centres. Crossrail has worked closely with us ahead of these major works commencing and while there will be an impact locally we are clearly focused on the long-term benefits that will be delivered.”
To coincide with the closure of Eastbourne Terrace, the existing taxi rank on Departures Road, alongside platform 1, will be relocated to a newly constructed facility to the north of Paddington station, above platform 12.
The new permanent taxi rank will replace the current facilities on Departures Road. Passengers will be able to access the mainline station from the taxi deck by lifts and escalators.
Crossrail is working with Network Rail, Transport for London, taxi associations and train operating companies to communicate the changes to pedestrians, road traffic, taxi drivers and all station users.
Information for the travelling public will be placed on all bus stops affected by diversions. Leaflets will be handed out in the days before the change and will also be available at nearby Tube stations. Extra staff will be on hand at Paddington station to provide information and directions to station users.
Crossrail will boost London’s rail-based capacity by 10 per cent, delivering new journey opportunities, faster journey times and up to 24 trains per hour between Paddington and Whitechapel during the peak.