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2001-02-20 DET-002
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

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Stratford international rail station gets the go-ahead


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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions



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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Stratford international rail station gets the go-ahead
_______________________________________________________________


date
20 February 2001
source Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
type Press release

note News Release 080


A new multi-million pound international station for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) in east London's Stratford will be granted powers to go-ahead, Transport Minister Keith Hill announced today.

The new station will form an important interchange for both domestic and international passengers linking the intercontinental rail line with London Underground's Central and Jubilee lines, the Docklands Light Railway, the North London Line and the Great Eastern Railway. Powers will also authorise a twin-track connection between the CTRL and the North London Line near St Pancras, for the purposes of running regional services from the CTRL to the West Coast Main Line.

Commenting on the decision, Keith Hill said:

"The new international station at Stratford will contribute greatly to the regeneration of east London and the wider Thames Gateway area. Having considered the views expressed on different aspects of the scheme, we have concluded that its potential benefits substantially outweigh any disadvantages, and that it would be in the public interest to give the powers and planning permission that are needed to implement the proposals."

"The proposed twin-track connection near St Pancras will enable direct services from regional centres to by-pass St Pancras, with Stratford serving as the London stop. The improved operational flexibility this will give will cut journey times for these services and help to extend the benefits of the CTRL beyond the south-east."

The powers will be given by way of an Order under the Transport and Works Act. Planning permission is to be given for the development provided for in the Order, subject to conditions.

One of those conditions will require the provision of travelators, or a similar form of mechanised link, between the international station and the existing station.

Mr Hill added:

"An issue that gave rise to much debate was the form of the pedestrian link between the new station and the existing station at Stratford, a distance of some 400 metres. We consider, however, that the provision of a fully enclosed walkway with a mechanised link should be a condition of the planning permission. The benefits of providing a convenient and attractive link integrating the international station with the existing transport infrastructure at Stratford are so considerable that they will justify the additional cost."

Notes to Editors
1. The new station at Stratford will provide an intermediate stop on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) for both international and domestic passengers. It will enable them to make connections at Stratford with London Underground's Central and Jubilee Lines, the Docklands Light Railway, the North London Line and the Great Eastern Railway. The twin-track connection between the CTRL and the North London Line (NLL) near St Pancras will allow trains to run directly from the CTRL to the West Coast Main Line without having to go into St Pancras station. For services running between regional centres and the Continent via the twin-track link, Stratford station will serve as the London stop.

2. Powers to construct the station "box" at Stratford and the tunnels on either side were included in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act 1996, but the proposals for the station itself were settled too late for inclusion in that Act. The CTRL Act also included powers to construct a single-track connection between the CTRL and the NLL, but a twin-track connection was proposed later in order to improve operational flexibility and reliability of the CTRL.

3. An application under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (TWA) for powers to carry out these proposals was made in 1997 by Eurostar (U.K.) Limited, a subsidiary of London and Continental Railways Limited (LCR). Construction of the second phase of the CTRL project, from north Kent to St Pancras including Stratford station, is now being taken forward by Union Railways (North) Limited, also a wholly owned subsidiary of LCR.

4. Following Parliamentary debates on the proposals in 1997, which resulted in Parliament's endorsement in principle, the proposals were considered at a public inquiry in autumn 1997. In September 1998, the Secretary of State announced (DETR Press Notice 275) that he was minded to agree with the inquiry Inspector, Mr G F Self, that the proposals should be approved, but that he wanted to receive further information on certain matters before reaching a final decision. These matters included the arrangements for passenger interchange between the new station, the existing regional station and Stratford town centre; the feasibility of providing a bus-only access route to the station; and the amount of car-parking provision which should be permitted at the station.

5. The further views received from interested parties on those matters have been carefully considered. The Secretary of State has concluded that the applicants' proposed form of pedestrian link between the new station and the existing station - a long open-sided walkway with no mechanical assistance - is unacceptable as it would not achieve a satisfactory transport interchange. He considers that the additional cost of providing a mechanised link, which is to be the subject of a planning condition, would be justified by its benefits.

6. The Secretary of State considers that it would not be appropriate to make the opening of the new station conditional on the construction of a bus-only access route to the station, which would require the acquisition of land in private ownership. He is nevertheless urging those concerned to work together to find an appropriate solution that will improve bus access to the new station. The Secretary of State has decided to impose a condition limiting car parking spacesto 850, so as to encourage the use of public transport.

7. In approving construction of the twin-track connection to the NLL, the Secretary of State has considered the concerns of some objectors about possible capacity problems on the NLL. However, bearing in mind that the extra usage of the NLL attributable to the connection would be very small in relation to other usage, he is not persuaded that these proposals would be likely to give rise to any significant problems.

8. Full details of the Secretary of State's decision and reasoning is set out in the decision letter which is being sent today to all interested parties. Details of the project can be obtained from either:

Union Railways (North) Limited
106 Tottenham Court Road
London W1T 4TU

Or their Parliamentary Agents:

Messrs Winckworth Sherwood
35 Great Peter Street
Westminster
London SW1P 3LR.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Media enquiries 020 7944 3041; Out of hours: 020 7944 5925 or 5945
Public Enquiries Unit 020 7944 3000
E-mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk
Web site http://www.dtlr.gov.uk/


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