The slumbering plans for an additional Crossrail station to be built in North Kensington have taken a modest step forward. The council has confirmed that it is in talks with Network Rail to commission a feasibility study for the station, which would sit at the northern end of Ladbroke Grove.
That’s, however, a very early stage of the process and would only work out if it’s possible to build the station and how much it would cost — there’s no money to pay for the station itself.
Although not originally included in the Crossrail Act, the railway track at Kensal has been ‘plain-lined’ meaning that no signalling or technical equipment will be located in the vicinity, which would allow for a station to be slotted into the space there.
A preliminary study suggested a cost in the region of £33 million as a rough estimate, although that’s based on 2012 pricing.
However, the feasibility study would at least let the council know how many housing developments and offices need to be built to cover the cost of the station.
The Kensal Gasworks off Ladbroke Grove has long been proposed as a site for a possible Crossrail station but in 2013, following analysis, the Mayor and Transport for London came to a view that it would not be feasible.
The area around the proposed station has already been earmarked for regeneration and back in 2016, it was estimated that a Crossrail station could lead to the delivery of 5,000 new homes and 2,000 jobs — compared to maybe 700 to 1,500 homes without the station. It’s not that the area lacks transport options, but that the planned redevelopments are likely to be larger if there’s a future Elizabeth line station in addition to the existing Bakerloo and Circle line stations in the area.
However, a Transport for London spokesperson said: “This section of track into Paddington is one of the busiest in the country and a new station in the area would cause delays and increased journey times and would have significant hurdles to overcome in its delivery. The main priority remains delivering the railway in its existing planned form.”
“The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea will benefit from the nearby Old Oak Common super hub station, which will provide connectivity between the Elizabeth line and HS2 services, when constructed.”
Even if the railway congestion issues could be overcome, going from talks about a feasibility study to cutting the ribbon on a new station is going to take many years to complete.
Updated 29th Sept – included TfL statement.