- Transport for London (TfL) unveils plans to open 31 railway arches in west London
- Improving pedestrian connectivity, diverse mix of office, leisure and retail space
- Arches will generate vital revenue to reinvest in transport
Transport for London (TfL) announced today that it plans to open 31 of its railway arches near Wood Lane Tube station. Largely unused, TfL aims to transform these arches into a diverse mix of commercial, leisure and retail space as well as creating new pedestrian passageways to improve connectivity in the neighbourhood and introduce new cycle parking.
The railway arches are located along the Hammersmith and City viaduct between the Wood Lane Tube station and the A3320 West Cross Route in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Adjacent to these arches, major developments are underway, including the extension to Westfield London shopping centre and the construction of nearly 2,500 new homes, office spaces, restaurants, shops and leisure spaces.
Subject to planning permission, TfL will complete the project in two phases, coordinating with the construction timetables of the neighbouring developments.
In the first phase, TfL plans to open the 19 arches closest to Wood Lane Tube station in early 2018, when the new John Lewis store at Westfield is set to open. These arches will include 13 for retail and commercial uses, three as new pedestrian access routes and three for storage and cycle parking.
In the second phase, TfL plans to open 12 arches closest to the A3320 West Cross Route, in line with when the adjacent residential developments are completed in the early 2020s. These arches will include seven for retail and workspace uses, four as new pedestrian access routes and one for storage and cycle parking.
Across the capital, TfL owns approximately 700 commercial arches, conventionally viewed as only suitable for storage or light industrial use. Increasingly, TfL has begun to assess the current use of each arch and what changes might be most welcomed in the local area. Examples include converting railway arches into The Beagle restaurant in Hoxton, the Warren Evans furniture showroom in Hammersmith and Arch Studios, a music studio in Stamford Brook. The size and location of the new units at Wood Lane will likely attract smaller chains and independent retailers as well as small and new commercial businesses.
Graeme Craig, TfL Commercial Development Director said: “Opening the arches at Wood Lane will truly transform the area – supporting ongoing regeneration with new locations for small and independent businesses and improving pedestrian connectivity. These are the first of a number of arches that we are looking to develop to help us raise vital revenue to reinvest in the transport network.”
Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James Group Ltd said: “Plans for the Opportunity Area are rapidly evolving and the regeneration of the arches will form an integral part of the public realm and place-making strategy for White City. We are working closely with TfL to ensure that the opening up of a series of arches coincides with the delivery, by St James, of a new Pedestrian Deck Structure over the Central Line.”
Alistair Shaw, Managing Director for the Television Centre for Stanhope said: “Stanhope are delighted to see the proposals for the railway arches from TfL come forward which in terms of both design and use will add to the rich mix of this rapidly evolving regeneration zone in West London. There is obviously a great opportunity to bring a new style of retail and commerce as a great addition to the Westfield complex and the arrival of John Lewis in late 2017.”
Duncan Bower, Development Director for Westfield said: “Westfield very much welcomes TfL’s project to activate the Hammersmith and City Line arches with new and exciting uses which will complement our expansion at Westfield London. We are looking forward to working closely with TfL in order to ensure their successful and timely delivery in 2018.”
For more information about the arches at Wood Lane, visit here