‘Exciting’ Crossrail extension proposals could be a ‘double whammy’ for borough

Crossrail. Image: crossrail.co.uk
Crossrail. Image: crossrail.co.uk

Dacorum leaders have welcomed the news that Crossrail could be making tracks for the borough, after the government’s transport secretary revealed the service could be extended into Herts.

Secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin said yesterday that a study will be launched into the potential extension of Crossrail, which could see trains to Heathrow terminals 1, 2 and 3 made available from Hemel Hempstead, with a change at Old Oak Common, and services to Bond Street and Farringdon run from Tring.

Berkhamsted railway station was another stop highlighted by Mr McLoughlin which could possibly benefit from the scheme.

Leader of Dacorum Borough Council Andrew Williams described the proposals as ‘exciting’ for the area.

He said: “We warmly welcome the government’s consideration of extending the Crossrail project to serve key stations within the borough of Dacorum.

“This exciting project would dramatically cut journey times into the heart of the capital and would be great news for local residents and businesses who rely on getting in and out of London quickly and reliably.

“Dacorum Borough Council is investing heavily into both the regeneration and promotion of Hemel Hempstead as a first choice location for people to live, work, visit and enjoy.

“The prospect of dramatically improved rail services will provide a further boost to our development plans and to the local economy. We look forward to participating in the development of the proposals as they come forward.”

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning also praised the scheme, saying: “I am really excited. I think the Crossrail idea is absolutely fantastic- it just opens up this part of the world with links into different parts of London.

“I commute in by train fairly regularly, and I know how packed it is. I have always called for improvements to the train services, including for Virgin trains to stop here.

“It’s early stages but I think it could transform the lives of people who work in London, and the people who want to come into our town. It’s a double whammy.”

The Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership commented on the proposals, saying it too welcomed the possibility of greater rail links for the area.

Andrew Percival, chair of the county LEP’s infrastructure board, said: “We very much welcome this announcement.

“Greater choice of direct destinations will boost the county’s connectivity with London, fulfilling a key priority from our Strategic Economic Plan.

“The extension of Crossrail to Hertfordshire will have a real benefit for towns like Hemel Hempstead, Tring and Watford – supporting businesses to grow and thrive. I look forward to seeing the results of the study.”
Crossrail is Europe’s largest construction project – work started in May 2009 and there are currently over 10,000 people working across over 40 construction sites.
The first Crossrail services through central London are expected to start in late 2018.

{http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/more-news/crossrail-making-tracks-for-hemel-hempstead-and-tring-as-extension-proposals-are-announced-1-6223473 |For more on yesterday’s announcement, click here.}