Thursday, October 12, 2006

Eastfields Station coming soon??????

On the front page of the local Guardian is Eastfields Station is to be opened by 2009. Great news if it does happen but the local area has been waiting for this station for seventy years and a touch of cynicism creeps in when I hear that it only a few years away as we have heard it all before.

When Merton Council was under Labour, the Council had been vigorous in pursuing the scheme, the obstacle was always the rail authorities who always had a ready-made excuse up their sleeve. This has been in various plans produced by railways both under BR and in latter years the then SRA who eventually dropped the plans. This time the saving grace may be Transport for London who may help provide funds, with the cost apparently being only £1.5 Million(less the cost of a new train) though no doubt a figure substantially higher if they are looking for an excuse. Even it did cost a few million more; it is a very cost-effective given the economic benefits it will bring to the area.

In terms of public sector projects for Mitcham, this scheme should to be the top priority for Mitcham. As for Cllr Diane Neil-Mills comment in the Guardian this week, I doubt very much that the minority Tory administration has successfully pushed the scheme forward and we really are not a great deal advanced on the position of a few months ago. The local Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh and local Labour councillors have been active in this for years long before Diane Neil-Mills displayed an interest in the matter (which was probably only this week). Though of course reading the story, Network Rail have the usual caveats to the scheme happening. I enclose the link to a House of Commons adjournment debate from Siobahin McDonagh in 2002 and a transport news website.


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