Hands: High Speed 2 great news for West London

Greg Hands M.P. has welcomed the Government’s announcement that HS2 will go ahead, with Old Oak in Hammersmith & Fulham confirmed as the key London interchange. The route will link London to the West Midlands and the north of England, adding up to 26,000 more seats for rail passengers and slashing journey times by as much as half.

Old Oak Common will link to Crossrail for rapid access to key business destinations in the West End, the City and Canary Wharf, and to the Great Western Main Line, providing HS2 access to passengers from the Thames Valley, the South West and Wales. It will also enable passengers to interchange with Heathrow Express services to the airport.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have led the campaign for high-speed rail at Old Oak, which will transform a rundown area into a major hub for business, with similar regeneration potential to Canary Wharf and the Docklands.

Commenting, Greg Hands M.P. said: “This is great news for West London. This decision will produce 20,000 jobs around the site in the first phase alone, deal with growing congestion on our railways and transform Old Oak. Opportunities and growth will be created exactly where they are needed most.

“I have argued the case for high speed rail for years. It is a truly exciting prospect. The regeneration locally will be matched in our northern cities, providing a real boost to the whole country. We will have a rail network worthy of the twenty-first century.”

Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, added: “A new high speed rail network will provide Britain with the additional train seats, connections and speed to stay ahead of the congestion challenge and help create jobs, growth and prosperity for the entire country.

“HS2 will link some of our greatest cities – and high speed trains will connect with our existing railway lines to provide seamless journeys to destinations far beyond it. This is a truly British network that will serve far more than the cities directly on the line.

“More than a century ago the Victorians built railways that continue to serve us to this day and just over 50 years ago the post-war generation chose to invest in motorways, bringing higher road capacity and faster journeys to millions. Both transformed the economic and social fabric of this country.”