Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Getting Cross (Rail) Too

Councillor Stuart Gordon Bullock, Steve O'Connell AM, Gloriana Andrew and Simon Densley holding up signs spelling out 'CR2 Stop Here' and a 'Conservatives' poster
Cllr Stuart Gordon Bullock, Steve O'Connell AM, Gloriana Andrew and Simon Densley (aka Me)
A campaign started by this blog and local Conservatives to get proposed Cross Rail 2 trains to stop at Worcester Park at has been taken up in earnest by local traders and residents.

Under current plans, the proposed Cross Rail 2 trains (not to be confused with High Speed 2 or HS2 heading from London to ‘The North’) would make a stop at Motspur Park and then come straight through Worcester Park without so much as a cursory glance while thundering over the bridge and down the line to Epsom, the next and final stop.

‘Why would anyone stop at Motspur Park in preference to Worcester Park?’ seems to be the cry going up. Sure Motspur Park has a few nice shops and I’m sure the people living there are lovely, however – they don’t have 4 major bus routes stopping at their station including the X26 to Heathrow. They don’t have the thriving hub of business and industry that is Central Road; and they don’t have the sheer volume of people that would use the train every day to commute to and from Central and North London via Victoria, Tottenham Court Road, Kings Cross and the other useful stops along the proposed route. It's not that I think anyone has any objection to the train calling in at Motspur Park, it’s just why is there no planned stop at the vastly more sensible Worcester Park?

Gloriana with a local resident signing
The campaign to get this changed has been in full swing for a short while now. Local Conservative campaigners have been talking to various politicians and have started a petition which London Assembly member Steve O’Connell (pictured left) will present to the London Mayor Boris Johnson. Many local traders already have a copy of the petition in their shops for people to sign (please see the current list of traders below). There is also an electronic version which you can sign here.

I have brought up the issue the couple of times I have met the mayor (pictured right) and recently wrote to London Travelwatch (who will be making a recommendation to the Mayor) about Cross Rail 2 serving Worcester Park, saying that it will:
“Reinvigorate the entire local economy without adding significantly to the number of cars driving into the area. In fact it may even decrease their number as the additional rail options will mean fewer local residents needing to drive to work.”
Steve O’Connell, who is also currently pressing for the tram from Wimbledon to Croydon to extend down to Sutton, sees Worcester Park as a key part of overall improvements to local transport . He told the blog that:
“I am pushing to get Cross Rail 2 calling at Worcester Park and also the tram down to Sutton so we can then run an express bus between Sutton and Worcester Park, creating a very attractive overall transport solution for the local area and Sutton borough generally.”
On the 11th of September Steve officially asked The London Mayor, Boris Johnson:
“Will you confirm that if the regional option of Crossrail 2 goes ahead that trains will stop at Worcester Park?”
The Mayor responded (in writing) with:
“TfL and Network Rail have just completed a joint consultation on Crossrail 2 which included two options: a metro scheme and a regional scheme. The metro scheme would not serve Worcester Park. A regional scheme would have the potential to serve Worcester Park through its connections with the South West Trains network. 
At this stage, TfL is analysing the responses to the consultation and a decision on which scheme to progress will be made at the end of the year. We welcome the views of local residents. If the regional scheme is taken forward, decisions on service patterns, routes and stopping arrangements will be subject to more detailed analysis with Network Rail over the course of the next year and there will be further opportunity to comment thereafter.”
Paul Scully, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park has also taken the opportunity to raise this issue with Government transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin (both pictured right).

As promised, below is the list of local shops which have a copy of the petition which you can sign. Please contact the blog if you know of (or are) any other shops who would like to keep a copy for local people to sign. And remember you can sign the electronic version too. Hopefully between all these and other efforts we might end up with some much needed improvement to local public transport in Worcester Park.

Shops where you can sign the petition:
  • UK Household
  • Woodfall Optitions
  • Kingston South (Property construction & Development)
  • Moonlight Hair Salon
  • Centrals Bar
  • WH Smith
  • Gascoigne Pees
  • Worcester Park Wine
  • Surrey King Cafe
  • Poundland
  • Kingfish
  • Mr Ink
  • Prospects Recruitment
  • Worcester park Mini Market
  • Worcester park Post Office
  • Ryan Gate
  • PC Fix Centre
  • Acacia Hair & Beauty
  • Kim's (Barber shop)
  • Clarks
  • Boots Pharmacy
  • Trutex
  • Glitz M Glam
  • Ross Fruiterers
  • Checkers Cafe
  • The Conservatory Florist
  • Hair Design by Shef (Cut and Blend Barbers)
  • Pets Place
  • Woodward Bros (Fresh Quality Meats)