September 18 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 21, 2014
Thousands of commuters are to get cheaper travel into central London with Zone 2 on the transport map being extended eastward to Stratford.
The move is part of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans for a world-class education and cultural quarter by the Lea River to boost the economic and social potential of the Olympic Park as the second anniversary of 2012 Games approaches.
An international design competition is being set up to create an ‘Olympicopolis’ to encourage prestigious organisations in art, dance, history, craft, science and technology to move east.
Stratford interchange hub on the Underground, DLR, Overground and national rail being shifted from Zone 3 to Zone 2/3 is seen as part of London’s economic and cultural life shifting eastward.
Also being rezoned are Stratford International and Stratford High Street stations, with TfL redrawing its fare zone boundary in January, 2016.
“Moving Stratford into a new transport zone is a unique opportunity to recognise the shifting economic map of London,” Boris said.
“Our aim is thousands of new jobs. Huge progress is being made with the Olympic Park now reopened and the planned move of the Financial Conduct Authority and TfL bringing 5,500 jobs to new offices into area.”
His new ‘Olympicopolis’ takes inspiration from the Victorians when Prince Albert used the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition to create the 86-acre ‘Albertopolis’ in South Kensington which created the Victoria & Albert, Science and Natural History museums.
Shifting Stratford to zone 2/3 aims for something similar in east London, with the V&A and Sadler’s Wells both moving into the new E20 development and University College London opening a campus close by.
The rezoning has been welcomed by Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, who said: “This provides long overdue recognition that London is moving East.
“Rezoning east London will accelerate growth, bring additional investment and visitors and create much needed jobs and homes.”
The ‘Olympicopolis’ is close to the former 2012 Olympics media centre at Hackney Wick, now being turned into a digital and creative industries centre by the Here East organisation with a further 5,300 jobs being created.
The organisation welcomed today’s announcement by the mayor which it said reflected the growing importance of “Stratford as a business destination for future economic growth across London and the UK.”
It is also being welcomed by Sadler’s Wells, the V&A and the University College which say the area will be more accessible and will draw a million more visitors a year.
But the rezoning will cost TfL £7m a year in reduced fares to and from central London, which could have a future impact on London fares overall.