Work begins to demolish iconic Wembley Stadium pedway to make way for ‘Olympic Steps’
PUBLISHED: 15:20 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:20 17 July 2020
Work has begun to demolish the iconic walkway ramp to Wembley Stadium which has served visitors for 46 years and replace it with steps.
Quintain, Wembley Park’s regeneration giant, started the controversial work to replace the pedestrian walkway, known as the pedway, this week.
The ‘Olympic Steps’ form the final stage of a wider package of upgrades to the length of Olympic Way.
Work will finished before the Carabao Cup Final in 2021 and the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, which will be held in June and July 2021 and hosted at Wembley Stadium.
James Saunders, chief exec of Quintain said: “The completed Olympic Way upgrades, including the iconic new Olympic Steps, will dramatically transform the arrival to Wembley Park and the National Stadium, creating a new and improved experience for spectators and fantastic new public spaces for our residents, shoppers and workers who come to Wembley Park every day.”
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Sixteen channels divided by handrails and walls with 48 steps will take people from Olympic Way to the top.
These will be separated into four flights of 12 steps with landing levels between them.
Underneath the steps on the threshold of the national stadium another flexible public space will be created, lit by 36 giant pavement lights from above.
Four large new lifts will be installed at the stadium, each able to carry three wheelchair users at a time which Quintain said “ have been designed to meet industry best practice and will be rigorously tested prior to use at major events”.
Brent Council’s planning committee voted unanimously in favour of property giant application to “enhance” Wembley Park in 2018 despite overwhelming opposition.
The pedway was built in 1974 to facilitate pedestrian access to the old stadium over a coach park that no longer exists.
Quintain lodged an application to build new steps to replace the two ramps in 2007 when the new stadium was built, saying it would be “one of the largest pieces of privately funded public space in the UK”.
Brent Council agreed in 2017 to gift the company £17.8m of public levy money to help pay for it and other “improvements” to the public realm.
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