Old Oak vision revealed

Old-Oak-proposals June 2013A consultation is opening on “A Vision for Old Oak”, the plans to create an interchange between HS2 and Crossrail on a disused rail depot site.

The plans would aim to produce up to 19,000 new homes and 90,000 jobs.

LB Hammersmith & Fulham say that the HS2/Crossrail links would make Old Oak Common Britain’s best connected railway station. The potential exists to connect to London Overground.

Cllr Nicholas Botterill, Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader, says: “HS2 will act as a catalyst to create much-needed new homes, jobs and opportunities in one of London’s poorest areas.”

The Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and three boroughs are consulting on the vision for the site.

LBH&F say around half of working age adults within 1.2miles of the station site are unemployed. Some parts of the area – which includes a large amount of railway land with train depots, two waste recycling facilities, the Car Giant dealership and other light industrial uses – are in the bottom 1% most deprived nationally.

The Government has signalled Old Oak’s vital role in taking pressure off busy central London terminals like Euston, the London terminus of HS2, which would be stretched by the 13,000 extra passengers an hour that HS2 will bring.

There would be direct links to five airports, with Heathrow 10 minutes away, Birmingham will 40 minutes direct from Old Oak and Luton, Gatwick and City Airport all within 45 minutes.

The Government, Mayor of London, TfL and London Boroughs of H&F, Brent and Ealing have developed a 30 year vision to transform the Old Oak area. The Vision spells out how up to 90,000 jobs and 19,000 new homes – in addition to new schools, open spaces, shops and leisure facilities – could transform the area.

“We have heard a lot about how HS2 will bridge the north-south divide and regenerate parts of northern England and the Midlands but it has also the potential to transform rundown inner London neighbourhoods right on our doorstep,” says Cllr Botterill.

Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “Old Oak Common is a true opportunity area for our capital. It is ideally placed to act as an interchange with Crossrail and other national main lines, relieving pressure on Euston station. A super transport hub in this location would drive significant regeneration in the surrounding area and support the creation of thousands of new jobs and new homes.”

A new, ground-level pedestrian link could be opened up through the HS2 and Crossrail station, connecting Wormwood Scrubs to Willesden Junction and providing access so people could walk to East Acton Central Line station. New link roads could be introduced to span the Grand Union Canal which would also improve access through the area.

The Vision says there is potential to improve the local road network by providing bus and cycle lanes, linking existing and new stations to the wider area. There is also potential to improve local connections with new bus services to a new bus interchange at the proposed HS2 and Crossrail station.

Michele Dix, TfL’s Managing Director of Planning, said: “The new HS2 station creates a major opportunity to improve the connectivity of west London. We are lobbying the DfT to include proposals for a new Overground station at Old Oak Common and a future Crossrail link to the West Coast Main Line into the HS2 plan. This would significantly increase rail accessibility across London.

“This would be complemented by proposals for a new bus interchange at the HS2 and Crossrail station which would help in relieving traffic congestion and improving local connections. In addition, we are working closely with HS2 to provide new walking and cycling facilities to provide sustainable transport options.”

The ideas put forward in the new Vision for Old Oak will form part of the authorities’ Local Plan reviews and the Mayor’s London Plan and, says the council, bring economic benefits to local centres in Harlesden, Acton, Ealing, as well as supporting connections to the White City, Earls Court, Wembley, Brent Cross and Kensal Canalside Opportunity Areas. The ideas will also feed into a future Opportunity Area Planning Framework being produced for the area. This framework will be used by the authorities when assessing future planning applications for development in the area.

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