A plan to convert a little used freight railway in West London for passengers has taken a step forward.
The railway line was opened in 1859 and ran from Southall down towards the Thames in Brentford. Although built mainly for freight, it included two very small passenger stations and ran a regular passenger service.
The council has been working on a scheme for some years to resurrect the line, with a new station built in Brentford and passenger services restored to Southall. A key factor for the plans is that Southall will then be on the Elizabeth line, which they hope will drive a lot more traffic on the spur down to Brentford.
In order to part-fund the 4-mile railway, Hounslow Council has now agreed to undertake a full business case to look at introducing a Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) within the Great West Corridor (GWC).
This decision follows the results of a public consultation which took place in the western section of the corridor between November 2018 and January 2019. Hounslow would be the first London local authority to move to this stage of the process.
As part of the proposal, the council has also commissioned Network Rail to begin a detailed study (known as ‘GRIP 4’) on building the new train link from Brentford to Southall, following encouraging early studies into the feasibility of such a link.
Cllr Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council said: “A WPL is expected to help reduce traffic levels from the date of its implementation whilst further benefits will materialise on the introduction of the transport improvements it will help fund. The earliest this scheme could be in operation in the western area would be 2021”.