Bunting, flags and excited school children were out in full force on Monday 16 May, to officially mark the reopening of Lea Bridge Station in east London’s Leyton.
Thanks to a project led by Waltham Forest Council and a cash injection of nearly £12million, the reopening will help kick-start ambitious regeneration plans in the Leyton area and is expected to serve over 350,000 passengers a year by 2031.
Network Rail managed the construction of the station, while work on the ground was delivered by VolkerFitzpatrick as the main contractor.
Providing direct links to Stratford and Tottenham Hale, the station will give passengers journey times as short as five minutes, compared to the 40 minutes these journeys currently take by bus.
“We are very excited to be reopening Lea Bridge Station after 31 years,” said Chris Robbins, Leader of Waltham Forest Council. “Not just for people already living in the Leyton area, but for the businesses nearby and investors who are interested in this part of our borough.
“There’s huge scope for growth in Leyton and Lea Bridge and we’re already working on a masterplan to look at how we can unlock its potential. The station forms a central part of our vision which will include a mix of desperately needed housing, retail and leisure space, and employment opportunities. We’re already in talks with investors and are in a position where we can choose the kind of investment and projects we think are best for our borough and residents – it’s really exciting.”
The station lies just to the north of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and on the edge of the Lea Valley Regional Park. Its reopening is thanks to solid partnership work and a mixture of £5.3million in Council capital funding, £1.1million from the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund and £5.5million from Section 106 contributions (managed by the Stratford Transport Implementation Group).
Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “Lea Bridge Station is a great example of how our record investment in the railways and partnership working with local authorities and industry is delivering better journeys for passengers and boosting local economies. Passengers will now benefit from new connections and faster journeys, making it easier to get to work and visit friends and family.”
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s Route Managing Director for Anglia said: “Rail is vital to the UK’s economic growth. I’m proud that we’ve delivered this fantastic new station that will help boost the local economy by connecting thousands of passengers to two of the capital’s key transport hubs, enabling them to move around London faster and improving links for local businesses.”
Andy Gardner, Rail Infrastructure Operations Director of VolkerFitzpatrick said: “This major refurbishment to bring Lea Bridge Station back into use has been a great project for us. Building the new station next to the operational railway involved engineering and safety challenges, but by working collaboratively with Network Rail and Waltham Forest Council we are pleased to see this vital link between north-east London and Stratford being opened.”
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