Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Works to demolish Wembley Stadium pedway & replace with steps will now not take place until AFTER Euro 2020

Controversial works to replace the Wembley Stadium pedway with steps will not now take place after Euro 2020 despite Brent Planning Committee being told in September 2018 that they would be completed for the Euro 2020 matches to be played at Wembley.

Members heard that the steps were intended to be in place for 2020 when Brent would become the Borough of Culture and Wembley National Stadium would host European Nations League finals.
-->The European Nation Leagues Final final will be held on July 12th 2020. One of the reasons cited for the urgency over pedway replacement was it would would provide a fitting modern gateway to European matches at the stadium as well as contribute to public realm 'improvements' to showcase the Brent Borough of Culture 2020. Now they won't be in place until after both events.

Brent Council told Wembley Matters today that works are scheduled to start in late 2020 and will be completed in Summer 2021.

The works will be complex and disruptive. Unfortunately the Site Management Plan no longer seems to be available on the Brent Council website but I published extracts on Wembley Matters HERE

Controversy was not just a matter of whether the pedway replacement was needed, and whether steps would be safe, but also the fact that Brent Council was using money paid to the Council (almost £18m) by Quintain in Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to spend on the pedway replacement, reconnection of North End Road to Bridge Road and other Olympic Way improvements when many felt it could have been spent on infrastructure improvements elsewhere in the borough.

The commencement date for the North End Road-Bridge Road reconnection works has been postponed from the July 1st start date but is still expected to be finished by January 2020.


Jaine Lunn said...

Let's hope this never materialises,stupid idea and a waste of money which could be spent better elsewhere. Any news with regard to the uncovering of the Murals?

Philip Grant said...

Dear Jaine,

I couldn't agree more with your views on "the steps".

On the tile murals, all has gone quiet since I submitted my "Alternative Heritage / Significance Statement". I presume that the Planning Officers are currently considering the two applications.

There is now a very strong case for rejecting Quintain's proposals, and if that is what they decide, we should know within the next couple of weeks.

If, despite all the evidence, Planning Officers decide to recommend the applications for approval, they will probably be considered at the Planning Committee meeting on 16 July, and we would learn about it the week before. I have already marked that date in my diary, in case we need to present the opposition arguments at that meeting.

Martin Francis said...

I have had no response yet from Brent Council re the timetable for reconnection of North End Road to Bridge Road. I presume this will affect the passage under the bridge and the murals to some extent.

Philip Grant said...

The re-connection of Bridge Road to North End Road is an "aspiration" which has been talked about by the Council for many years, but I have not seen any details about how they think it could be achieved in practice!

I will be interested to see the plans they eventually manage to produce, if and when they actually produce any.

IF they do replace the pedway with steps, it would help relieve traffic congestion during the construction work for this, if there was a road link between Bridge Road and North End Road.

But I can't see how they could plan, approve and construct that link by late summer 2020 (only 15 months away), especially as that work would cause at least some disruption to pedestrian access to the Stadium from Wembley Park Station (which can't occur during the various FA football finals and Euro 2020 matches in the spring and summer of 2020).

Martin Francis said...

This is as much detail as I have seen. Reference to reconnection was included in the Planning Application (Sept 12th 2018) as mitigation for the closure of the road that currently runs beneath the pedway. The actual reconnection was not part of the pedway application itself so would require a new application. The report does say that the Council is financially committed to reconnection. EXTRACT: The transport infrastructure improvements proposed are a new road connection between the western end of North End Road and Bridge Road (opposite Wembley Park station) for use by traffic and pedestrians. This would be achieved by removing pedestrian steps and ramps between North End Road and Bridge Road and by raising the level of the road over a distance of about 60m.
The future proposed scheme means that on Wembley Stadium event days there would be a replacement east-west route across the Wembley Stadium area that does not cross Olympic Way and therefore would not need to be closed to maintain pedestrian and crowd safety.
Brent Council has financially committed to delivering an east-west route through the North End Road connection which would therefore further support the road network on event days.

Philip Grant said...

See Martin's update blog of 1 July for details of the Bridge Road / North End Road re-connection.