The Olympic Steps, an exciting and ambitious project that was over a decade in the making, has transformed the entrance to the National Stadium and created much more space for a 365-day neighbourhood filled with activity.
The Olympic Steps project, an iconic new set of steps in front of the National Stadium and upgrades to the world famous Olympic Way, is now complete.
An exciting and ambitious project that was over a decade in the making and has transformed the entrance to the National Stadium and created much more space for a 365-day neighbourhood filled with activity.
The ramp, known as the pedway, was built as part of the old Wembley Stadium as a bridge over coach parks that no longer exist. The Olympic Steps, which replace the outdated, concrete pedway, have extended Olympic Way and improved accessibility for all visitors to the National Stadium.
The ramps did not comply with accessibility legislation as they are were steep. As part of the update, accessibility has been improved with four new lifts being built to assist wheelchair users to enter and exit the National Stadium.
From the community parades of Light Up The Night to celebrity performances as part of The Mayor of London’s International Busking Day, Olympic Way has played host to some of Wembley Park’s most exciting free events. The Olympic Steps have expanded and enhanced this public pedestrianised space, allowing for more memorable moments in the heart of Wembley Park.
The long ramp leading up to Wembley Stadium, known as the pedway, has been replaced by a set of iconic steps, which will be known as the Olympic Steps. The Olympic Steps – alongside the wider upgrades to Olympic Way, which have included widening it by 50%, form an integral part of the transformation of Wembley Park into London’s most exciting new neighbourhood and once complete will offer a host of benefits to our local community of residents, workers and visitors. The construction work is now complete and the Olympic Steps are operational.
Why did the pedway need to be replaced?
The pedway was built in the 1970s as a bridge over open-air coach parks that no longer exist. It is a remnant of the old Wembley Stadium which was reconstructed in 2007 to become the National Stadium we know and love today. The pedway did not comply with current accessibility legislation and the ramps are too steep for wheelchair users or people with mobility problems. Dominating the heart of Wembley Park and dividing the east and west of the neighbourhood, it's was an uninviting environment for residents and visitors.
What are the benefits of this project?
The Olympic Steps are a fitting renewal to the heart of a 365-day neighbourhood filled with activity. The removal of the pedway allows for a significant extension to the recently transformed Olympic Way so it can meet Engineers Way, uniting the east and west of Wembley Park with an inviting, distinctive and accessible public space.
Where the pedway once was is now a new, open-air environment for Wembley Park’s visitors and residents to meet, take in the views of Olympic Way and enjoy the curated, vibrant neighbourhood. The Olympic Steps provide a stunning addition to Wembley Park’s acres of pedestrianised public realm which now include new colourful picnic tables and 100 new picnic benches for al fresco eating, delivered by Quintain and Brent council to support the safe enjoyment of Wembley Park’s exciting cultural, dining and shopping offering.
From the community parades of Light Up The Night to celebrity performances of The Mayor of London’s International Busking Day, Olympic Way has played host to some of Wembley Park’s most exciting free events. The Olympic Steps will expand and enhance this public space, allowing for more memorable moments in the heart of Wembley Park. The tree-lined Olympic Way has been significantly extended and its “Avenue of Champions” completed, with additions to its assembly of trees from across the world. Throughout the year, the undercroft of the Olympic Steps will serve as a new location for exciting enlivenments to the neighbourhood, such as art installations, buskers and open-air market stalls. Semi-translucent pavement lights will bathe the Olympic Steps undercroft with natural light, uniting the two new tiers of public space.
What does this mean for disabled visitors?
Importantly, the pedway did not comply with current legislation on accessibility and was not suitable for wheelchair users due to the gradient of the ramp. The very steep ramp gradient is also challenging for encumbered spectators to use including those with mobility or visual impairments, ambulant disabled, as well as those with a pushchair. The Olympic Steps project provides better access for the needs of older and disabled people with the introduction of four new lifts from ground level to the Wembley Stadium concourse. Each lift can take three wheelchairs, giving a total capacity of 12 wheelchairs at a time. The Olympic Steps have been designed after consultation with Level Playing Field, an organisation that promotes a positive, inclusive experience for disabled sports fans.
Wembley Stadium is a major events venue, how have you ensured the Olympic Steps are suitable for crowds?
The steps have been designed to meet industry best practice and guidance alongside all relevant safety standards. Rigorous testing was taken place before the Olympic Steps were in regular use.
Whose project is this?
Quintain, the owner and developer of Wembley Park, is delivering the Olympic Steps, as part of the London Borough of Brent Area Action Plan. It has been a decade long held ambition of the council to replace the pedway with a set of steps and the project was given planning permission by Brent Council in 2018. Throughout the project Quintain has worked in collaboration with Brent Council and the FA, owners of Wembley Stadium.
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