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Stratford: one stop from Amsterdam?
Stratford is already excellently connected. In the coming years you’ll be able to get here faster, more frequently, and from further afield than ever before. Work is nearing completion on a £200 million investment programme at Stratford Station. New entrances and ticket halls, three new platforms, and fourteen new lifts for step-free access throughout. 35,000 passengers used it every hour in 2007; it’s now 55,000; at peak time during the Olympics it’ll be 120,000; and by 2018 everyday rush hours will see the station handling 80,000 people.
The Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which already connects Stratford to Canary Wharf and beyond, is being extended to connect to Stratford International. It’ll link direct to London City Airport, with its daily flights to over 30 destinations including Zurich and New York, the Excel exhibition centre, the emerging Royal Docks business area, and Woolwich Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Crossrail will connect the west and east sides of the city via two huge tunnels bored under central London. Trains will travel from Heathrow right through to the West End, the City of London, Canary Wharf and out to Essex and Kent; with Stratford functioning as a key link in the chain. When Crossrail opens in 2018, journey times from Stratford will be just 10 minutes to Farringdon, 13 to Tottenham Court Road, and an impressive 49 minutes straight to Heathrow and its worldwide links.
From 2013, it’s anticipated that the newly-liberalised pan-European rail network will see operators such as Deutsche Bahn exploiting the £210m Stratford International Station to offer direct travel from Stratford to Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.
And as you’ll see if you look at our public realm section, there are also all sorts of improvements underway around Stratford’s streets. At the same time, tens of millions of pounds worth of major infrastructure work on A-roads, bridges, subways and crossings means that access by car is becoming faster and far more efficient.
All in all, Stratford will shortly be one of the best connected destinations in the UK. Now, where’s that Oyster card?