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Wembley Park scores goal with new station plan

A £72 million plan by Pascall + Watson to rebuild the 'life-expired' Wembley Park Underground station in North West London has been kicked into action after Brent planners finally approved the designs for the new stadium it will serve last week.

The architect was commissioned with Ove Arup and Partners by London Underground Limited (LUL) and this week revealed its detailed designs, which will be built from midApril next year to mid-2004 and lift the throughput of passengers to 50,000 per hour - double the numbers it can cope with on match and event days at present.

The scheme forms a large chunk of the transport improvements which Brent Council famously pressed the new Wembley Stadium builders to fund as a condition for the planning permission it finally gave the Foster and Partners/HOK Lobb-designed 90,000 seater stadium last week. LUL said that the money is coming 'partly from the private sector'.

Piecemeal work on the station began in 1995 with a new stadium staircase from Olympic Way via the Bobby Moore underpass to the auxiliary stadium ticket hall. A second phase consisted of a new train crew accommodation building, completed last year. But now Pascall + Watson's plan will mean the demolition of all of the station, including the commuter ticket hall and entrance area alongside Bridge Road, auxiliary ticket hall, the linkbridge over the Chiltern Line tracks and other features.

New works include a new commuter concourse building with lifts for the disabled, new retail, cash points and toilets; a new 'stadium' concourse building; four new platforms serving six lines and future provision for Crossrail, should it happen; a new high-level, swooping curved 'toroid' roof; and 1000m 2of offices for LUL staff.

The architects say the station has been designed around passenger flows and 'to create a feeling of openness, security and ease of use'. They plan to build the North West London project in phases and keep the station almost fully operational throughout - for commuters from Mondays to Fridays. LUL managing director Derek Smith, meanwhile, said he hoped the 'stunning' station plans will boost England's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup.

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