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Stratford’s star rises in the east with new Tube zoning

Businesses operating in east London have welcomed changes to the Tube map that have brought several Underground and DLR stations from Zone 3 into Zone 2.


Transport for London (TfL) has moved stations, including Stratford, West Ham and Canning Town, into a new Zone 2/3, joined by others that used to sit on the border between the two zones.

The move makes travel to and from these east London stations cheaper for residents and workers, and developers believe it will boost the area’s business hub credentials.

“Things like the zones for TfL shifting are really, really important because it helps tell that story,” said Kevin Chapman, head of offices at Lendlease, one of the firms behind The International Quarter, a £2 billion residential, retail and office development in Stratford.

“It is putting Stratford where it should be geographically in London in people’s minds,” Chapman continued. “Its Zone 2 allocation helps people to appreciate that, actually, it is no further out than Canary Wharf or places like that.”

The Financial Conduct Authority and TfL itself are already set to move their headquarters to the area, and Chapman said the transport zone changes will make east London a more attractive option for other businesses looking to relocate from offices in the city centre.

“Any large business that is going to move there is probably going to come from a Zone 1 or 2 location already,” he said. “It will help us because we have to convince the HR teams that their staff are not moving to the back of beyond.”

This, he said, is reflective of a larger trend of movement towards east London.

“It is a largely still undeveloped part of London with good transport and it is still very affordable,” Chapman said. “I think it is still part of this general shift eastwards in London, which has been coming for a long time, but it is finally materialising now. It is just another brick in the wall of telling the Stratford story.”

It is also hoped that the move to Zone 2 could help to attract more visitors to shops, restaurants and other attractions in east London, including the Westfield shopping centre.

“Westfield Stratford City sits at a centre of unrivalled connectivity, and with over 42 million visitors to the centre each year, Stratford station is a major hub for our customers,” said Westfield head of development John Burton. “The move to Zone 2 is not just great news for Westfield customers, but for local residents, office and retail workers at Stratford and all commuters travelling through.

“With 200 trains at peak hours from central London, as well as local and national rail links, we know that this move by TfL will benefit our customers and retailers hugely and we very much welcome the change.”

Sir Robin Wales, the mayor of Newham, said: “We have been campaigning for this for some time. The truth is, London’s moving eastwards and it’s sensible to reduce the cost of travel.

“It’s going to encourage people to come to Stratford, West Ham and Canning Town, which will be great.”

Meanwhile, London boroughs have been given their own boost after the mayor of London and Transport for London announced £148million in funding to transform transport and public spaces. The annual funding, marked for 2016/17, will go towards projects set out in the boroughs’ Local Implementation Plans, including cycle route, junction and pavement improvements.

Mayor Boris Johnson (left) said: “This latest round of funding will help to transform scores of locations in all four corners of our great city.

“It is specifically targeted to help make our roads, town centres and open spaces more attractive places with better facilities for walking and safer cycling.

“By helping the boroughs deliver on important local transport schemes, we can help to spur jobs and growth across London.”