Opening of new entrance at Ilford station delayed

The opening of Ilford’s new station entrance has been delayed by at least a month due to the “poor condition” of the bridge underneath.

The entrance was originally meant to be finished by next month, well ahead of the anticipated launch of Crossrail’s central London section this summer.

But a “technical issue” with the bridge structure that carries Cranbrook Road over the railway line beneath have created a significant delay.

In a statement, Network Rail, who are responsible for the railway lines and stations on the existing network, said they discovered the issue last autumn.

A spokesperson said: “The bridge’s concrete slabs are in poor condition and we have used the time to work up a solution to repair the bridge, while allowing the internal fit out of the new entrance to continue.

“These repairs will be carried out between now and the end of May which will allow us to finish the new entrance and open it to passengers this summer.”

Network Rail is now aiming to open the entrance “this summer,” but has not specified which month.

Their spokesperson did not respond to questions about what the additional cost of the repairs will be, saying only that its Crossrail budget is £2.98 billion.

At the other end of the station, two new entrances have already been opened leading to York Road and and Prior Road.

The Prior Road entrance, which leads to a number of recent residential developments, was built using funding from Greater London Authority, TfL and Redbridge Council.

Building work around the station may continue for a number of years, as the council plans to redevelop land around the gyratory system and make it more pedestrian friendly.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “We remain in close contact with Network Rail and are aware that they had to revise their works programme to accommodate technical issues with the bridge structure.

“We are working closely with our partners to ensure that the remaining works are completed safely so that the much-anticipated new station entrance can finally open to the public.

“The regeneration of Ilford Station is closely aligned to the Ilford Western Gateway project, which will create a new neighbourhood, along with the much-needed redevelopment of the existing Ilford gyratory system to reduce pollution and provide a safer, greener, more accessible route into Ilford Town Centre.

“The Ilford Western Gateway is an essential element of the council’s overall regeneration programme for Ilford and will complement the arrival of the Elizabeth Line and our new Ilford Station entrances.”

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter