After a series of meetings with Merton Council officers, Network Rail confirmed that significant progress has been achieved towards the delivery of a new mainline station at Eastfields, Mitcham.
The station would provide a 20 minute direct link to London Victoria, with at least two trains per hour, and is only 10 minutes walk from Mitcham Town Centre.
The target date for a fully operational station has been recommended as December 2009, coinciding with the implementation of the new timetable across South London and beyond.
Network Rail supported the station proposal in principle after an initial feasibility study suggested that the station would benefit local rail operations, although a more detailed study is required to determine the impact the station will have on the rail network.
In order to save both time and money, Network Rail has offered to undertake the study themselves, as without delays, the project should be completed in around two years.
Councillor Diane Neil Mills, cabinet member for Housing and Regeneration said:
“This is a very exciting development for the Mitcham community and underpins the Council’s commitment to the regeneration of Mitcham town centre. I am delighted that we have been able to push this forward.”
The construction of a mainline station at Eastfields has been under consideration since the 1930s. There are many issues to be addressed and planning permission will be required before construction. Comprehensive public consultation will also be undertaken.
The cost of the station is estimated to total approximately £1.5 million.