This afternoon, Justine Greening announced that the Government would be proceeding with High Speed 2, a high speed rail route from London initially to Birmingham and subsequently to Manchester and Leeds and maybe beyond.
HS2 will solve the predicted capacity problems on the West Coast mainline and significantly reduce the travel times between London and the great cities of the Midlands and the North, which should help to ensure that in future growth is more evenly spread around the country.
Given that our taxes are helping to pay for it, it is important that Croydon has a good connection to the new route. The Government is proposing a station at Old Oak Common, where passengers can interchange between HS2, Crossrail and the Great Western line. It would perfectly possible to include a link to the West London Line. This would enable people from south London and the South East to get a direct train from either East Croydon or Clapham Junction to Old Oak Common rather than going to Victoria and then on to Euston via Underground.
I raised this with the Secretary of State in the House today and will be following up in writing.