New High Speed Rail Details Confirm Old Oak Common Hub

Station in north of borough set to become main interchange for passengers

Details of the next phase of the UK’s £32billion high-speed rail (HS2) network released by the Government on Monday confirm that a new high-speed rail station will be built in Hammersmith and Fulham.

As part of the proposals for Phase 2 of the HS2 programme, the government has announced a delay to a proposed spur to Heathrow while the review of UK aviation policy is on-going. This means that a proposed new rail hub at Old Oak Common, in the north of our borough will be the main interchange station for passengers wanting to transfer from the new high speed network to the airport.

Old Oak Common was already a vital part of the HS2 route, as it has unrivalled connections with existing rail lines, and the Government has recognised the station’s vital role in linking HS2 to Heathrow, as well as taking pressure off Euston.

Around a third of all HS2 passengers are expected to transfer at Old Oak Common, which is just north of Wormwood Scrubs.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council says around 20,000 jobs will be created in the immediate area – which is one of the capital’s most deprived neighbourhoods. Around half of working age adults within 1.2miles of Old Oak Common, including residents in the neighbouring boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Kensington & Chelsea, are unemployed and some parts of the area are among the bottom 1% most deprived nationally.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, said: “This is great news for anyone who wants to see better transport links and new homes and jobs in a rundown corner of north-west London. A new generation of high speed trains will stop at the major new interchange station at Old Oak and allow passengers to change onto numerous existing routes – or whizz them to Heathrow Airport in just 11 minutes.

Running at speeds of up to 250mph, HS2 trains will virtually halve journey times between London and Manchester from two hours and eight minutes to one hour and eight minutes, according to the Department for Transport. Passengers will be able to travel from London to Birmingham in just 49 minutes – down from one hour and 24 minutes currently.

A short film showing a futuristic vision of how Old Oak could be transformed by the high-speed rail hub has been released by the council. The YouTube clip shows new homes, businesses and a new waterside park along the Grand Union Canal as part of Sir Terry Farrell's planning vision which renames the area Park Royal City.

You can watch the clip here.


January 29, 2013