The new entrance for Ilford station is now at “95% completion” – but will not include any public toilets.
Network Rail had hoped to hand over the new Elizabeth Line station by December 2020 but were delayed by a number of “external factors”.
This includes the discovery last August that the concrete bridge beneath the entrance was “very deteriorated”, which necessitated a last-minute £4 million repair.
Network Rail now hopes the new entrance can be handed over to operator MTR next month.
Explaining the lack of public toilets to Redbridge Council’s external scrutiny committee earlier this month, Network Rail’s Stephen Deaville said: “It was considered to be more important to increase permeability to increase passengers coming in and out of it and to have an improved gateline to cater for the increased number passengers expected to use the Elizabeth Line.
“From a design perspective, the design of Ilford station has been through the Redbridge planning process and was approved by Redbridge.”
Responding to Cllr Kumud’s Joshi’s request to “go back and ask” for a toilet to be added, he said the question has already been “well argued”.
He added: “I know that may not be well received and indeed there will be ongoing discussions with the operator… but from our scope and point of view, and the station having been through the planning process, there are no toilets included within the scope that we are delivering.”
A letter from Deputy Mayor for Transport Heidi Alexander to council leader Cllr Jas Athwal, sent in November 2020, apologised for the effects of the long-running delay to the new entrance, including the pavement outside being blocked, but declined his request for an “ex-gratia payment”.