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06 October 2006

Sustainable Development Select Committee

A few of us attended the Sustainable Development Select Committee yesterday. I expect official minutes will be available on the council website eventually but I wanted to make a few quick comments before I go on holiday:

There are a lot of plans still being worked out by TfL, Southern and particularly by Network Rail (who were not present).

It does seem that there will be less trains for FH to London Bridge but overall there will be more trains due to the ELL trains. To be fair this will allow easy interchange to Jubilee line (for Bond St, Waterloo, Canary Wharf) as well as interchange as Whitechapel to District and Hammersmith lines (Liverpool Street north east of the squ mile). In addition Crossrail will eventually allow interchange at Shorditch for Farringdon, Stratford and fast access to West London.

Speaking to one of the councillors after to meeting it may be that we only have one train per hour direct to Victoria, although more that go to Crystal Palace and Norwood Junction where you can change.

At present TfL have no plans in place for taking over management/ownership of the stations on our route, but have requested that this happens.

Trains longer than 4 carriages will not be possible on ELL due to the stations at Rotherhithe and Wapping. It would cost vast amounts of money to make these bigger and the only alternative, closure of these stations, was rejected by the mayor.

A formal submission will be prepared by the committee with recommendations to all rail providers and other interested parties but a couple of clear ideas were:
* Increased interchange at stations like New X Gate with the possibility of some more fast trains stopping here (likely to be unpopular with Surrey/Sussex/Kent Councils).
* Selling off Network Rail assets around the stations for property developments to fund station improvements. And allowing private developments in close proximity to the stations in return for section 106 money for improvements to stations and surrounding facilities.

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