HS2 route consultation splits boroughs

The consultation has opened on the route of the high-speed rail link from London to Birmingham (HS2), with a split in west London on whether to support it.

LB Hammersmith & Fulham is strongly supportive of the line. Their proposals to build 10,000 new homes and create 5,000 extra jobs around Old Oak Common are built around the area becoming London’s interchange station between HS2 and Crossrail.

LB Hillingdon meanwhile opposes it, and is involved in a campaign by a large number of councils whose territory the line would pass thorough.

H&F Council, local residents and organisations – including Imperial College, West London Business and the Park Royal Partnership – are all backing the plan.

Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, said the country faced a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to create new jobs and prosperity adding that the high-speed plan would deliver £44billion worth of benefits to the UK economy. Nationally around half of Britons also favour the super-fast link with nine per cent opposed, according to a poll published by the Transport Secretary.

“This poll shows that, across Britain, five times as many people support our planned high speed rail network as oppose it,” said Mr Hammond. 

While Old Oak is close to a number of prosperous neighbourhoods, the area within 1.2 miles of Old Oak contains some of the most deprived communities in England. Only a half of 16-74 year olds that live within 1.2 miles the Old Oak site are in employment and some parts of Old Oak fall within the 1 per cent of most deprived areas nationally.

The Old Oak site intersects the Great Western mainline and the West and North London Lines and provides links to a future Crossrail station. The site could create an interchange linking Heathrow Express services to Birmingham, the north and Gatwick Airport. Journey times from the Old Oak hub to Heathrow would be just 11 minutes, say H&F Council.

The Government’s consultation runs until July 29 and there will be a series of road shows in towns and villages along the proposed route.

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