Rail upgrade expected 'within five years'

Wed 13 March 2013, 2:03 pm

Upgraded rail services that are vital for the regeneration of the Upper Lee Valley are likely to be delivered within five years, Enfield Council has said.

The authority is spearheading proposals to introduce extra tracks on the line between Stratford and Brimsdown Road stations that will improve the frequency of services to Angel Road Station, spurring the progress of its £1.3 billion Meridian Water development.

It has now said the infrastructure scheme’s inclusion in Network Rail’s strategic rail business plan means it “estimates” better rail services will be in operation on the line “by the end of 2017”.

The £80 million scheme is dubbed the STAR Line after Stratford, Tottenham Hale and Angel Road stations, which it links. It is expected to remove barriers to the development of  around 18,000 homes and the creation of more than 20,000 jobs in the Upper Lee Valley.

Councillor Del Goddard, Enfield’s regeneration lead, said the project would transform the area and generate billions of pounds of investment.

"The challenge now is to finish the job and ensure we can successfully lobby for the remaining money needed to provide a four-train-an-hour service to Angel Road,“ he said.

“The completed improvement scheme is the holy grail of rail upgrades, for a relatively modest outlay we will be able to add billions of pounds to the UK economy, unlock the enormous potential of Meridian Water and create thousands of jobs and homes in the places they are needed most.

"The financial benefits of putting extra rail capacity in place would be enormous and benefit the UK as a whole at a time when the economy needs all the help it can get and people, jobs and entire communities in the East of Enfield will reap the benefits of a fast, modern and efficient rail service which connects them to Tottenham Hale and the major transport, business and retail hub at Stratford.

“These improvements will also put the Upper Lee Valley at the centre of European development by forging better transport links between the area, Stansted Airport and Stratford International Station.”