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New rail links from Brent Cross West?

May 20, 2021

Brent Cross Town could be opened to even greater transport links, after it was agreed that Brent Cross West station will have passive provision for the proposed West London Orbital (WLO) rail route.

The new station will open in December 2022, offering services to central London in just 12 minutes, plus direct links to Luton and Gatwick airports, and to Eurostar services from Kings Cross. Now it has been agreed to commission ‘passive provision’ for the WLO, which would offer additional cross-London services, plus potential links with the HS2 line to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

A map showing the proposed route of the West London Orbital line

The proposed route of the West London Orbital line

‘Passive provision’ means creating the capacity for the WLO now, rather than after the station is built, which will save money. The cost of up to £1.7million will be forward-funded by Barnet Council, and will come from Section 106 contributions by developers who are building the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme as agreed and endorsed by the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL).

The WLO would use of a combination of existing freight and passenger lines. An alliance of London councils, the Mayor of London, Transport for London, and Network Rail have collaborated to develop the WLO scheme. It is supported in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, and the first stage of work has shown the project is both technically deliverable and value for money. The WLO team are now working on more detailed technical issues.

The new line fits with the vision of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme to provide a sustainable and environmentally-friendly legacy. A journey between Brent Cross and Harlesden can take hours at present, but this would be cut to a few minutes. The WLO would make public transport a realistic choice for many journeys, taking vehicles off some of the country’s busiest roads including the UK’s most congested highway the North Circular.