Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon visited East London today (10 July 2015) to mark the start of works on a brand-new rail station that will transform travel for residents of Waltham Forest.
The transport minister joined representatives from Waltham Forest Council for a ground-breaking ceremony at the site of Lea Bridge station, a £11.6 million facility partly-funded by the government’s New Stations Fund. The station was last operational in 1985 and, when it re-opens in Spring 2016, will give passengers smoother and quicker journeys.
Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said:
Lea Bridge Station is a great example of how our record investment in the railway is providing better journeys and boosting local economies. When the new station opens next year, passengers will benefit from new connections and faster journeys into central London and beyond. It is great news that work is now underway.
Passengers using Lea Bridge will be able to travel to the interchange stations of Stratford or Tottenham Hale in around 5 minutes, in contrast to the current bus journey, which takes 30 to 40 minutes. Initially 2 trains per hour will serve the station, rising to 4 trains per hour in 2018.
The station, which is on the route between Bishops Stortford and Stratford, is 1 of 5 to receive funding from the first round of the New Stations Fund, with the government putting £1.1 million into its construction. The other 4 stations to have benefited from the first round of funding are:
- Pye Corner in Wales
- Ilkeston in Derbyshire
- Kenilworth in Warwickshire
- Newcourt in Devon
Earlier this week, the Chancellor announced a further round of the fund, with up to £20 million available to provide even more new stations.
Following his visit to Lea Bridge, the minister travelled to the Crossrail Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) in Ilford, a purpose-built training facility for engineers working on the Crossrail programme. Workers are trained in key skills such as tunnel excavation, underground construction and infrastructure, as part of a wider investment in jobs and skills which the Crossrail project has created.
Lord Ahmad toured the facilities and met with apprentices, the next generation of underground construction workers whose skills are vital to the delivery of Crossrail and future projects such as HS2.