Really positive development this week.
TfL have shown us 3 options for the railway station combination around the Old Oak Common (OOC) interchange. The good news is that there’s 1 option which looks good to us for lots of reasons. The bad news is that we’ll have to keep fighting to get this one accepted - their preferred option continues to be one that takes a big chunk out of the NW corner of the Scrubs.
The new option on the table is shown in the picture below. (Please note that TfL was OK for us to distribute these plans on the clear understanding that we’d make it quite clear that these are work-in-progress and that nothing is set in stone yet. Indeed, TfL are currently working to a timetable that has their preferred option defined and set by September 2014, in time for a possible HS2 House of Commons Committee hearing on the matter.)
The big headlines for this option are:
- There is no railway loop on the Scrubs anymore - which is our big NO in TfL’s currently preferred option
- There are 2 stations linking HS2 to the London Overground network - one at OOC joining the North London Line, and one near the Car Giant site linking to the West London Line
- People travelling from Richmond to Willesden would stop at the new OOC station shown on the left hand side of the picture before Willesden
- People travelling from Shepherd’s Bush towards Kensal Rise would stop at the new station on the top right of the picture
- There would be no new track along the northern boundary of the Scrubs
- There are travelators of some sort linking these stations to the HS2 station
- The logistics and financing of this option might be much nicer than the others because the two stations could be built at different times and there is no new track laying involved.
SaveOurScrubs likes this option! And so should other stakeholders, we think.
Just as a reminder, here are the other options in the running.
First, the one we will continue to fight tooth and nail, TfL/GLA’s currently preferred option:
You can see the orange line that is the loop that takes out the NW corner of the Scrubs, and that continues along the N boundary - the new track
And here is the option that was our preferred option before this new one turned up:
This option avoided the loop on the Scrubs - which is why we supported it. But it is less good than the 2 station solution because:
- it has a possibly major impact on Wells House Road and Shaftsbury Gardens and would therefore lead to a divergence in the interests of the Save our Scrubs campaign and other local groups
- It was not ideal from a transport perspective, because it required West London Line trains changing direction - increasing journey times.
OK, so are there any downsides to the 2 station option?
Not many, as far as we can see. The travelator from the HS2 stations to the West London Line station (on the top right) is long. But then that’s nothing much new - airports sort this sort of thing out regularly. Also, the travelator will need to go up the hill and may be visible from the Scrubs. Our view is that you could make it a feature.
What are the next steps? Well … we continue to put pressure everywhere we can to make sure the viaduct & loop option gets nowhere. We also beat the drum about the 2 station solution and try to build a coalition around it.
Our goal is that by September 2014, this is TfL’s/GLA’s preferred option.