Floods disrupt train services
FLOODS have been disrupting train services in many parts of the country after torrential rain during the past 24 hours. Some London lines were badly affected last night, and for a while passengers were advised to avoid the south London area. The situation is improving now, but there are still reduced services between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes Central. Problems are also continuing in north Wales and north west England. Services hit include those between Aberystwyth, Chester, Crewe and Shrewsbury and also between Wrexham General and Bidston, and Welshpool and Shrewsbury. Virgin Trains services between Holyhead and Crewe are likely to be cancelled or delayed by the Welsh floods. Merseyrail was also affected by flooding between Hamilton Square, Ellesmere Port and Chester. Network Rail said the water had damaged equipment, triggering signal faults and points failures which are being repaired as quickly as possible. It is hoped that at least some of the affected services can return to normal later today.
HS2 doubts threaten development
THE plans for a major development at Old Oak Common in west London have been thrown into doubt by the political uncertainty surrounding HS2. At least two of the candidates to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister have said they would scrap the project if they were elected, and the Old Oak and Park Royal Corporation has said this uncertainty, plus challenges to the plan from an existing occupier of part of the proposed 140-hectare site, are threatening the scheme, which includes a new station to serve Crossrail and HS2. The chair of the Old Oak and Park Royal Corporation Liz Peace told a meeting of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee that the plan had been ‘somewhat undermined’. Her colleague, OPDC interim chief executive David Lunts, said that until the notice to proceed with HS2 had been issued, any delays to the station would also affect the wider development. The all-important notice to proceed has now been postponed until December. He explained: ‘That does start to raise concerns, certainly if there is an extension beyond that. Our plans are very contingent on the idea of a station opening in 2026. If that were to move, that would inevitably impact on our programme because we need the station to open to generate the accessibility and the value in the land.’