Today (27/10/16) is the launch of the West Anglia Taskforce’s report and publication of the Taskforce’s 5 point call for action. The launch will be attended by Paul Maynard MP, the rail Minister, and Rt Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, chair of the West Anglia Taskforce.
The West Anglia Taskforce was established by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London in February 2015 to examine the case for upgraded rail infrastructure on the West Anglia Main Line, which serves Liverpool Street, north London, Harlow, Stansted Airport and Cambridge. The Taskforce works closely with Department for Transport, Network Rail and Transport for London.
The Taskforce’s 5 point call for action:
1) Cambridge in 60 and Stansted in 40 – Liverpool Street services;
2) Improving service levels to other communities along the route to support growth;
3) A new timetable by 2020 to take advantage of new, faster and longer trains;
4) Four-tracking the railway in the mid-2020s as a precursor to Crossrail 2 opening in 2033;
5) Progressing Crossrail 2 ahead of submitting a Hybrid Bill by 2019;
A copy of the full Taskforce’s report is available at: www.upgradewaml.co.uk
Rt. Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Chair West Anglia Taskforce, stated:
“I am very pleased to welcome Paul Maynard MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport, here today. We were delighted that the new franchise set such a high bar for improvements, with new rolling-stock on all services. Working with Abellio Greater Anglia we are determined to ensure we maximise the promised range of benefits to rail users. However, the need for significant investment in the infrastructure is overwhelmingly clear and the Taskforce will continue to press for it in the medium as well as long term.”
Val Shawcross CBE, London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport stated:
“The West Anglia Taskforce has an important role to play in securing the investment that will allow passengers to benefit from more frequent and reliable services, which better connect London with key neighbouring areas. That work is crucial as plans progress for thousands more jobs and homes along the route of the line”.
Andrew Cowan, CEO, Stansted Airport said:
“There is no better time to start investing in our railway. With runway capacity at a premium in the South East over the next decade, the Taskforce’s five point plan to deliver faster, more frequent and reliable rail services will help to make best use of Stansted’s runway and deliver new airlines to serve the burgeoning London-Cambridge growth corridor. We now look forward to working closely with Greater Anglia, Network Rail and the Department for Transport to deliver these improvements as soon as possible.”
Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said:
“The West Anglia Mainline provides an important link between Cambridge, Stansted and London, as well as a number of rural stations close to key employment sites in our area. We need to see improvements to the line sooner rather than later to unlock further economic growth and also to support the continued growth of Stansted Airport. This report highlights some of our key recommendations for both the short and long term. The next step is to work with partners to secure the funds required for these works as soon as possible.”
Cllr Linda Haysey, Leader East Herts and LSCC Deputy Chair stated:
“The West Anglia Taskforce shows clear cross-party support from along the whole line. We are not looking for a hand-out from government. We are actively looking at how the economic value related to the huge levels of growth projected in this rail corridor can be captured to support this investment. For example “Greater Harlow” is developing plans to delivering 51,000 new homes, and we need the infrastructure to support this level of growth. While Stansted remains the UK’s fastest growing airport, with the planning and runway in place now to deliver significant additional capacity for London and the South East.”