We are building the Olympic Steps, an exciting and ambitious project over a decade in the making, transforming the entrance to the National Stadium and creating more space for a 365-day neighbourhood filled with activity.
The final section of upgrades to the world famous Olympic Way, which include an iconic new set of steps in front of the National Stadium, are now under construction.
This exciting and ambitious project has been over a decade in the making and it will transform the entrance to the National Stadium and create much more space for a 365-day neighbourhood filled with activity.
The existing 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 The Olympic Steps, which are to replace the outdated, concrete pedway, will extend Olympic Way and improve accessibility for all visitors to the National Stadium.
The existing ramps do not comply with accessibility legislation as they are too steep. As part of the works, accessibility will be 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 will expand and enhance 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, is being 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 main construction work will be from July 2020 to the end of February 2021, when the Olympic Steps will be operational for the Carabao Cup Final. From March 2021 to June 2021, landscaping and fit-out works will be undertaken to prepare the Olympic Steps for daily use as an important addition to Wembley Park’s local neighbourhood.
Why does 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 does 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 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 will soon be 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 will 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, socially distant 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 will be 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 does not comply with current legislation on accessibility and it is 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 will take place before the Olympic Steps are in regular use.
Will the steps be ready for the Euro 2021?
Yes, the Olympic Steps are due for completion in June 2021, which means they will be ready for the European Championships. The steps will be operational by February 2021 for the Carabao Cup Final and from March 2021 to June 2021, landscaping and fit-out works will be undertaken to prepare the steps and their undercroft for daily use as a key addition to Wembley Park’s public space. The Olympic Steps project will be fully complete by the start of the Euros football championship in June 2021.
Will the demolition of the pedway and steps construction be noisy?
Every consideration has been made to minimise disruption to Wembley Park’s residents and visitors. A proportion of the construction of the steps is being carried out off-site and noise and vibration monitoring stations will be in place in several locations which will be closely monitored by our contractors and the ENS team at Brent Council.
The areas most affected by noise will be those closest to current the pedway itself during Phase 2 of the project. Rigorous testing has been carried out from balconies across the residential buildings that will be most affected to ensure that noise levels remain within the range of safe exposure.
What are the agreed working hours?
The project timeline has been carefully considered to get the noisiest part of the project, Phase 2, completed as quickly as possible. As such, Brent Council has agreed the following working hours for the three phases of construction:
Phase 1 – Site Preparation and Substructure Works; 14th July 2020 – 20th November 2020. Monday – Friday 0800 – 1800, Saturdays 0800 – 1300.
Phase 2 – Pedway Demolition and Construction of Steps; 19th November 2020 - 25th February 2021. Monday – Sunday 0700 – 2300 until 6th February 2021. Monday – Friday 0800 – 2000 and weekends 0800 to 1800 from 7th February 2021 – 25th February 2021.
Phase 3 – Landscaping and Fit Out; 1st March 2021 – 10th June 2021. Monday – Friday 0800 – 1800 Saturdays 0800 – 1300.
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.
What Covid-19 social distancing measures will be in place on the site to protect workers?
As with all the active sites in Wembley Park, construction contractors are expected to follow the latest social distancing guidelines. All contractors are operating to the CLC (Construction Leadership Council) Site Operating Procedures to keep sites open with increased health and safety protocols. As the developer of Wembley Park, Quintain remains vigilant in maintaining contractor standards in this regard.
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