Plans to transform Paddington’s Bakerloo line and station have been revealed as part of a £775 million proposal which will transform the area.
The upgrade of the Grade II listed station and ticket hall, which will cost £65m, will bring an end to commuters standing in cramped queues which snake out of the building, improve customer experience and revamp much of the run-down and tired-looking area.
Its cost will be met by the Paddington Quarter scheme - a 14-storey building already dubbed the Cube - at the former Royal Mail sorting office site in London Street.
Great Western Developments (GWD) and its development partner Sellar Paddington Limited (SPL) applied for planning permission in September, after its original proposal for the site, dubbed the Skinny Shard, was withdrawn after attracting a slew of criticism .
The changes have the backing of TfL, Network Rail and London Underground, and is part of a pledge from developers to invest in public realm and transport infrastructure.
As part of the Paddington Quarter scheme submitted to Westminster City Council, SPL is proposing two new station entrances and a ticket hall that would be four times the size of the current facility. In addition, the number of entrance/exit gates would be more than doubled to 12 and provide direct benefits to nearly half of Paddington Station users who use the Bakerloo line.
A relocated Praed Street entrance would offer escalator access down to the Bakerloo line ticket hall, with the line’s platforms becoming fully step free from the street, making them accessible for all.
New cycle parking and hire bike docking stations will also be provided as well as an enlarged public realm at street level on Praed Street, alleviating congestion on the existing narrow pavements.
A revised Bakerloo line arrangement would also provide a fully accessible journey from the street and Paddington Station concourse to the tube platform – making travel simpler for those using both stations, reducing pedestrian density and increasing comfort.
Steve Norris, the former Conservative transport chief who also stood against Ken Livingstone on the London elections, supports the scheme.
He said: “I have long been a fan of this scheme which will transform the frankly run-down area around Praed Street which is surely the least appealing of any of London’s major termini particularly since Waterloo, Liverpool Street, King's Cross and St Pancras have shown what can be achieved and plans are in place to transform London Bridge and Victoria.
“The current entrance to Brunel’s station with its magnificent glass roof is frankly a disgrace and badly needs rethinking.
“The Underground access frequently has to be closed because it can’t accommodate the crush of passengers and this is before the arrival of the Elizabeth Line or Crossrail as we still know it which will open in 2018.”
And Bill Price, director at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, the engineering consultant working on the scheme, added: “Paddington is one of London’s largest stations in terms of pedestrian numbers and this scheme will deliver long-overdue improvements to the area adjacent to the station making journeys simpler and much more enjoyable.
“However, without the development of The Cube, these multimillion pound improvements simply would not be possible.”
A decision by council planners is expected in December.
For more information visit the Paddington Quarter website .