Major investment is needed in train services in the west of the county is the message from the West Anglia Taskforce, who have today launched a five point call to action to improve the West Anglia Main Line.
A new timetable by 2020 and building an extra track in both directions are among the list of demands put forward by the Taskforce as they work to improve travel times between Stansted, Cambridge and London and ensure the county’s tens of thousands of commuters enjoy a fast and reliable service.
The plan will be officially launched at a special event in Hertfordshire on Thursday 27 October. Among those in attendance at the launch will be Paul Maynard MP, the rail Minister, and Rt Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, chair of the West Anglia Taskforce.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, is a member of the Taskforce. Welcoming the call for action, he said: “Train lines and transport links play a vital role the economic growth of the county and our close links with London are key to this. The West Anglia Main Line is already struggling to cope with demand and this will only get worse when the new Crossrail extension is opened.
“The action we are calling for will future proof the line and ensure that it can cope with the additional demand it will face not only from the opening of Crossrail 2 but also the growth of Stansted Airport and the tens of thousands of new homes planned in this part of the county.
“Now is the time to act and this five point call to action is what we need to drive the improvement this line requires.”
The Taskforce’s five point call for action is:
1) Cambridge in 60 minutes and Stansted in 40 minutes – 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 and mitigation works for level crossing closures as a precursor to Crossrail 2 opening in 2033.
5) Progressing Crossrail 2 ahead of submitting a Hybrid Bill by 2019.