HS2 could create 27,000 jobs in West London

Old Oak Common has been suggested as a possible site for the nation’s next major rail hub in a detailed study commissioned by LB Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF).

Old Oak lies to the north of Wormwood Scrubs, and south of Willesden Junction. The Crossrail route passes nearby, but no station is planned, despite lobbying by LBHF.  The report suggests it as a prime site for a high-speed station that would connect West London and Heathrow with the rest of Britain and beyond.

The report was submitted to the Chairman of High Speed 2 (HS2) – the company set up to examine options for a high speed line between Scotland and London. It argues that Old Oak Common should be a major interchange on the route.

LBHF suggest that an HS2 station at Old Oak Common would link Heathrow with rest of the country. It could certainly act as a major catalyst to regenerate a surprisingly deprived corner of West London. Residents in the north of Hammersmith, the south of Brent and eastern part of Ealing could benefit from enlarged employment opportunities if the hub station were built.

Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, H&F Council Leader, says: “The site is perfectly placed to connect the rest of the country with Heathrow and could also bring thousands of new jobs and homes to a deprived part of the capital that spans three London boroughs.”

Earlier this year Greenhalgh told Lord Adonis, the Secretary of State for Transport, that Old Oak Common should become a major new transport interchange for the capital. Now the report says a super station centred on 90 hectares of underused railway and light industrial land would connect existing railways and create up to 27,000 jobs.

The report argues that Old Oak is best placed to meet all of the Government’s objectives for High Speed 2 because the site intersects the Great Western Mainline and the West and North London Lines, could link to Crossrail, would create a major interchange linking Heathrow Express services to Birmingham, the north and Gatwick/Brighton, would unblock pressure on Euston, Paddington and Marylebone, and has significant regeneration potential for a deprived area. It also links neatly with orbital links such as the London Overground network.

Unemployment within a two kilometre radius of the Old Oak Common site is well above the national average and poor access to housing and other services are also a challenge for local people.

Cllr Greenhalgh adds: “The regeneration of Old Oak Common that will flow from building a high speed rail station in the area could be as important for the future of west London as the Olympics has been for east London.”

High Speed 2 Chairman, David Rowlands is expected to make recommendations to Government on his preferred route and stations in a confidential report on 31 December, 2009.


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