Crossrail bosses have unveiled new designs for the rail route’s Whitechapel station, in the wake of concerns from Tower Hamlets Council over the suitability of previous plans.
Changes include moving the station’s proposed entrance back onto Whitechapel Road from Fulbourne Street, and ‘dramatically’ reducing the amount of excavation work needed, in order to make ‘substantial savings.’
This follows objections to the original station plans from local residents and the borough’s authorities over the relocated station entrance and the extent of disruptive building works scheduled for the area.
A Crossrail spokesperson said: “Working with architects BDP and Hyder Consulting, Crossrail has listened to feedback from local residents and the local authority, Tower Hamlets, and included ideas and comments from that in the new plans.”
Crossrail described the updated designs as ‘accessible and safer for pedestrians, with a spectacular walkway alongside the concourse which provides a free pedestrian route from Durward Street on to Whitechapel Road for local residents.’
“The access and ventilation shafts around Whitechapel station have also been re-designed to minimise impact on local residents. The height of Cambridge Heath Road shaft is now reduced and the Durward Street shaft has been split into two structures to have ventilation facing inwards away from the surrounding structures.”
“The architects have made best use of the unique personality of the existing station and introduced easy, step-free access to the reinstated entrance on Whitechapel Road as well as to the Royal London Hospital on the other side of the road.”
With concerns expressed from some quarters about the high costs of the scheme, Crossrail representatives have said that the new designs ‘also offer better value for money.’
Owen Whalley, Head of Planning and Building Control at Tower Hamlets Council, said: “The Council welcomes Crossrail’s positive response to our concerns about the original station design proposals which had a main entrance on Fulbourne Street.”
“The new station, with its entrance on Whitechapel Road, is a great improvement. It will benefit passengers using the station as well as local residents who will be able to use the new footpath connecting Durward Street and Whitechapel Road.”
Rob Holden, Chief Executive of Crossrail, said: “Crossrail is sensitive to local issues and I am delighted that our discussions with Tower Hamlets and the local community have resulted in such an exciting new station design.”
Whitechapel Station, which is already served by the East London Line, as well as the District and Hammersmith and City underground lines, is undergoing the overhaul in preparation for the new East-West Crossrail project. When the route opens in 2017, Whitechapel will be linked directly to the West End and Canary Wharf, making it an important travel hub.
Click here to view more projected images of the new Whitechapel station on the Crossrail website.
Interested local residents can find out more about the plans at a special exhibition at Crossrail’s new Visitor Information Centre, at Whitechapel Ideas Store on 30 June, 1 July and 3 July.