All aboard!

Merton Council welcomes the start of construction on the East London Line

Construction of the East London Line is steaming ahead to the delight of Merton Council, which is a member of the East London Line Group. The completed scheme will include a southern extension to Wimbledon, which will enhance its status as a regional gateway station.

The East London Line Group brings together local authorities, businesses and regeneration agencies in north, east and south London, with a view to promoting the benefits of the rail scheme. These include:

Making public transport from Merton better for orbital journeys and cross-river journeys to the east of the City and Docklands
Improving the accessibility and attractiveness of Wimbledon for new development, as good transport provision is increasingly seen as an essential ingredient in attracting larger developments
Reducing journey times for numerous routes creating practical alternatives to the car.

The start of construction was marked by a ceremony at the prospective Dalston Station site, attended by Stephen Byers, the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London and the new Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority, Richard Bowker.

East London Line Group chairman Archie Galloway, from the Corporation of London, said: ‘This is a giant leap forward after over ten years of campaigning. There have been times during that period when it looked like the scheme lacked government support, planning permission and funding to go ahead, so I know I speak for many stakeholders across London when I say how delighted I am that construction is actually beginning.”

Councillor Russell Makin, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Physical Environment said: “I am delighted that construction of the northern extensions to the East London Line have begun and now look forward to a start to construction on the extensions south of the river, which will hopefully begin in the near future.

“The southern extension to Wimbledon will allow residents to look forward to a period of regeneration in Merton stimulated by the new, extended line and reductions in journey times.”