Coun­cil lead­ers hit back at HS2 plans to axe rail line

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

LEAD­ERS of coun­cils rep­re­sent­ing Bucks have hit out at plans to close a rail line in the county be­cause of HS2.

The HS2 hy­brid bill, which lays out the plans for the de­vel­op­ment of the first phase of HS2, would in­volve clos­ing the High Wy­combe Sin­gle Line (HWSL) which links parts of Bucks with Lon­don.

In a let­ter to the Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, Pa­trick McLough­lin, the lead­ers of five coun­cils in Bucks say: “The HWSL is a route that we con­sider of great im­por­tance to the long term eco­nomic prospects of the com­mu­ni­ties we rep­re­sent.

“It pro­vides a direct link be­tween Buck­ing­hamshire and the pro­posed sta­tion at Old Oak Com­mon. This sta­tion will be­come one of the best con­nected trans­port hubs in the coun­try, with links to the Great Western Main­line, Cross­rail, HS2 and Heathrow Air­port.

“In ad­di­tion, the area around the Old Oak Com­mon sta­tion is due to be re­de­vel­oped. The Old Oak and Park Royal De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion aims to cre­ate up to 24,000 new homes and 55,000 new jobs across the 155 hectare site.

“As a re­sult, this area will be­come a de­sir­able lo­ca­tion for em­ploy­ment and re­tail op­por­tu­ni­ties, par­tic­u­larly for res­i­dents of Buck­ing­hamshire, as well as many oth­ers served by the HWSL.”

The as­pect of the Bill that they are urg­ing him to amend con­cerns the re­align­ment of the Great Western Main­line(GW ML) to make room for the con­struc­tion of Old Oak Com­mon sta­tion. This has the ef­fect of sev­er­ing the ex­ist­ing HWSL.

Chiltern Rail­ways, who op­er­ate reg­u­lar pas­sen­ger ser­vices over the HWSL, have told the Bucks lead­ers that it is both phys­i­cally pos­si­ble and cost ef­fec­tive to main­tain the HWSL within the Old Oak Com­mon sta­tion lay­out.

Gra­ham Cross, Di­rec­tor of Chiltern Rail­ways said: “At Chiltern Rail­ways we see very con­sid­er­able ben­e­fit for peo­ple in Buck­ing­hamshire of a direct rail ser­vice to the pro­posed new sta­tion at Old Oak Com­mon from 2026.

“This will make many cross Lon­don jour­neys faster, make it eas­ier to get from Buck­ing­hamshire to Heathrow Air­port by train, and af­ford direct ac­cess for res­i­dents to the many new jobs which are ex­pected to be cre­ated in the Lon­don Mayor led de­vel­op­ment at Old Oak Com­mon.

“We too are rec­om­mend­ing to the Sec­re­tary of State that the pro­vi­sions in the HS2 Hy­brid Bill which would cur­rently pre­vent trains run­ning from the Chiltern route to Old Oak Com­mon are re­moved, and we sup­port the po­si­tion of the Coun­cils.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.