Though the new Wembley isn't all that new any more, it always had one element that remained after the demolition of its historic predecessor. The long northern pedestrian walkway is now being demolished.
You may recall, the demolition of old Wembley has sparked discussion over what should remain of the iconic building. While the two towers were eventually not saved despite their listed-monument status, one element of the old landscape has been retained: the northern pedestrian walkway, commonly called the pedway.
© Enguerran Fouchet (cc: by-nc-nd)
Pedway is the nearly 200-meter elevated ramp, leading fans from the undeground station, along the complex's main axis, the Olympic Way. Built in 1974, it's been the oldest remainder of the old Wembley, allowing crowds to bypass the now-defunct parking site and the Engineers Way.
While not appealing as a structure itself, the pedway has become an important symbol and plans of its demolition set out a few years ago were met with strong opposition. However, the Brent Council eventually gave the green light for replacement of the ramp with much smaller set of staircases – 16 flights with 48 steps each, plus 4 large wheelchair elevators.
The project is quite controversial not just for sentimental reasons. Public spending is also an issue. While the change of pedway to stairs will benefit largely Quintain, the private investor of commercial parts of Wembley, Brent Council still decided to support it with £17.8 million (€20m) in taxpayer funding.
Demolition of the pedway is now ongoing, the new access route will be ready next year. The investor has guaranteed that all work would conclude before the 2021 Carabao Cup final or the crucial Euro 2020 games.
Rendering of the planned solution.