HOUSEHOLDERS concerned about Crossrail received a firm assurance that there is no plan to compulsorily purchase any land around West Drayton railway station.
People whose homes in Warwick Road back onto an overgrown embankment next to a disused platform at the station all received letters from consultants retained by Crossrail – the firm building London’s east-west high-speed line of that name – which gave the impression that some land might have to be acquired.
At a meeting of Yiewsley and West Drayton Town Centre Action Group at Key House, in High Street, Yiewsley, on Wednesday last week, where people had a chance to study the project plans, John Goldsmith, Crossrail’s area community relations manager, denied there was any such intention.
“We shall need access to the land on that embankment when we redevelop the station,” he said, “and some householders have extended their gardens to include land which is actually owned by Network Rail. We simply want them to give it back.”
Mr Goldsmith went on to give an overview of Crossrail – described as Europe’s largest infrastructure project – which he said would increase the capital’s rail capacity by 10 per cent.
“At peak times, there will by six trains an hour from West Drayton to central London, with each capable of holding 1,500 passengers.”
Plans for West Drayton station include extending the ticket hall, new ticket machines and gates, a new footbridge and passenger lifts to ensure step-free access, and extending platforms to accommodate the new trains. The disused platform five will be brought back into service.
Yiewsley councillor Dominic Gilham said after the meeting: “I think this is a fantastic regeneration programme that will really benefit the south of the borough.
“It’s a win-win situation. My only criticism is that Crossrail has fallen down on the communication front with those letters to people in Warwick Road.”
■ Crossrail is holding a public information session focused on bridge alteration work on Tuesday, September 25 at St Martin’s Church Hall in Church Road, West Drayton, from 2pm to 6pm.