Crossrail’s Urban Realm: the Public Spaces outside the Stations
Crossrail’s approach to the public spaces outside its station is ambitious and pioneering. No other railway project in this country has included a programme of improvements as extensive as Crossrail’s. These spaces outside stations need to work effectively as transport interchanges and get people to the next stage of their journey by bike, foot, bus or taxi, as well as being pleasant spaces to meet friends.
It is vital that the areas around the Elizabeth line stations work effectively as transport interchanges and get people to the next stage of their journey by bike, foot, bus or taxi, as well as being pleasant and welcoming environments.
The designs aim to be attractive, adaptable and sustainable so their use can change over time; accessible including, where possible, step free; legible and free from clutter; and safe and secure. Importantly they also aim to retain the identity, diversity and characteristics of local areas giving confidence to local communities and to potential investors.
The designs have been carried out in collaboration with Crossrail, local authorities, Transport for London and, on Crossrail’s surface section, Network Rail.
All the urban realm designs in London have been reviewed by panels of experts: in the central section of Crossrail reviews have been carried out by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and in outer London by Urban Design London.
The funding required to build the designs will be obtained from a variety of sources, a principle agreed by all the partners at an early stage. The total cost of the urban realm improvements outside every station on the route is estimated at £130m. The target is to raise and implement £90m of improvements by line opening in 2018. The funding will be split 3 ways between Crossrail, TfL and third parties (principally local authorities through developer contributions).