Boris wants Network Rail to work on improved rail link between London and Stansted
Boris Johnson has told Network Rail that it should fast-track upgrades of the rail line between London and Stansted and Cambridge, which he says are of national importance. In autumn 2014 Network Rail put forward a 30-year plan for the rail links in the East Anglian region, but an upgrade of the line to Stansted was not included. It was just mentioned as part of a wish list out to beyond 2040. Part of the investigation by the Airports Commission has been looking at how current airport capacity could be used better, including improvement of rail links – and the Stansted line was included. Sir Howard Davies has said Network Rail’s plans for the track to Stansted were not ambitious enough. Boris wants a four-track solution, to get fast trains between London and Stansted taking just over 20 minutes, which is under half the present journey time. Boris says the 4-track line would be of national importance, and a precursor to Crossrail 2, which is planned to run underground from south west to north east of London, and be built by 2030. Boris says good rail lines from north east London need to be in place before Crossrail 2 is finished. He wants the preparatory works for the Stansted line to be in Network Rail’s present 5-year plan up to 2019.
Boris backs improved Stansted rail links
Johnson is also backing a four-track solution, which could allow fast trains between the City and Stansted to run at around 20 minutes, less than half the current journey time.
“There is a strong nationally important case to be made for four-tracking … as a precursor to Crossrail 2,” the mayor wrote in a letter to Carne that has been seen by The Times, in which he added that he was “disappointed that it has not been fully assessed”.
“Massively improving journey times and reliability between London Stansted and Cambridge [will] support the government’s aspiration for Cambridge to become an economic powerhouse, part of improving the links between the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Cambridge and Oxford and improving surface links to Stansted,” he wrote.
A spokesman for Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group told the newspaper: “Unlike other London airports, Stansted has spare runway capacity today and significant room to grow in the future.
“It is vital that faster rail services are delivered between London and Stansted to ensure that this potential is utilised, and it is encouraging that the mayor recognises this.
“We have identified a clear solution for speeding up train services to Stansted. It is now time to get on and deliver these improvements.”
Network Rail said it would consider all the responses to its present consultation.
The Airports Commission’s Interim report (December 2013)
Appendix 1: Assessment of Short- and Medium-Term Options
Boris raps Network Rail for failing to boost Stansted line