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Benefits of new rail service revealed

Wed 31 July 2019, 4:07 pm

A new rail service linking several parts of west London created on existing, underused rail lines could generate thousands of jobs and homes, according to a Transport for London (TfL) report.

The report from June suggests that creating the West London Orbital (WLO) could produce at least 8,800 new homes and 23,000 jobs. The rail line would run from Hounslow and Kew Bridge towards Hendon and West Hampstead, with stops including Brentford, Acton, Old Oak Common, Harlesden, Neasden and Brent Cross West.

The strategic outline business case report by TfL suggests this would help cut public transport journey times across west and north west London, and alleviate crowding on congested rail and tube lines.

The proposed WLO line would form part of the London Overground network, connecting a number of existing lines to create a new route for west and north London.

It would also use the four-mile Dudding Hill line, between Cricklewood and Acton, which is currently being used for freight services only.

A benefit of the line would be to promote public transport encouraging commuters to use sustainable travel to help the capital’s air quality.

Hounslow Council leader, Councillor Steve Curran, said: “I join other west London leaders in welcoming the ongoing progression of this vital improvement to public transport in our sub-region. The West London Orbital could play a huge role in improving orbital connectivity between Hounslow and Brentford – providing a direct link to the proposed new High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) and Elizabeth Line station at Old Oak Common which is to become a major new economic hub in its own right.

“Additional trains serving new destinations will do much to help deliver sustainable growth along the Great West Corridor opportunity area which is a key priority for us. A new station at Lionel Road will also help ensure the new Brentford stadium and enabling development around Kew Bridge, currently under construction, is as accessible as possible by public transport, minimising congestion on the local road network.”

The report suggests the estimated cost of the WLO line is £281m, and adds it would be used for 11.5 million passenger journeys each year. Work on a business case for the line will be created over the next 18 months to focus on feasibility, financing and technical issues, with an aim to start services on the WLO by 2026.

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