Network Rail announces the completion of the new western concourse, the most spectacular part of the five-year programme to restore and improve King’s Cross station.
More than 45m passengers a year - travelling through London and to and from destinations as far afield as Newcastle, Edinburgh and York - will benefit from a raft of improvements when it opens to the public on Monday (19th March).
The £550m scheme delivers the biggest transformation in the 160-year history of the Grade-I listed station and marks the completion of yet another key transport upgrade for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It takes the total investment in transport infrastructure in the King’s Cross area in the last ten years up to £2.5bn.
Over a thousand tonnes of steel, one million specially made heritage bricks, five million ceramic tiles and five million metres of cabling were used in the construction. More than 5,000 people worked on the project, providing a vital boost to the economy with 15% of the work force coming from the local area.
Passenger benefits include a wide range of improved facilities including better lighting, larger destination boards, clearer station announcements and more shops and restaurants. A spectacular new roof structure has been cleverly blended with the station’s heritage to create a space for passengers that is three-times larger than the current concourse, with improved links to both the London Underground network and St Pancras station.
A catalyst for economic growth
This spectacular project is a result of strong partnerships forged between Network Rail, train operators, the local council, architects, suppliers and English Heritage. It is also playing a key role as an economic catalyst, with a number of high profile businesses announcing plans to move to the newly redeveloped area around the station.
To complement the wider improvements, King’s Cross St. Pancras London Underground station was upgraded with a New Northern ticket hall funded by the Mayor, Transport for London and the Government. Opened in late 2009, it has provided a big increase in capacity, cutting congestion and improving accessibility.
The completion of the work at King’s Cross station sees yet another part of the Olympic Transport Plan ready on time leaving a legacy of improved transport in London. It follows improvements that have led to Stratford being served by ten different rail routes and a significant increase in capacity on lines such as the London Overground.
A further phase of development to a different area of King’s Cross station will complete in autumn 2013. As well as restoring the station’s double barrel roof and famous clock tower, engineers will remove the eyesore 1970s green canopy on Euston Road to reveal Lewis Cubitt’s original façade and create a new public space the size of Leicester Square.
£2.5bn has been invested in transport in the King’s Cross area over the last 10 years. This includes £850m for the King’s Cross/St Pancras Underground works, £850m for St Pancras International itself, around £550m for the new King’s Cross western concourse and other works, £125m for Thameslink and the £250m invested by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership in the wider infrastructure which includes local transport (roads, walkways etc).