North & West London Light Railway

MQT on 2014-11-19
Session date: 
November 19, 2014
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


A North & West London Light Railway could utilise many existing and some old track beds, for example a two way light rail or tram to run from Finchley Central through Mill Hill East in the disused , (but still existing almost entirely) track bed of the Northern line extension, to Mill Hill Broadway Station (and possibly on to Edgware). People could then visit Brent Cross along the Thameslink, and travel on to St Pancras or through London as far as Brighton and including Gatwick Airport, and Luton. Such a solution could further provide an effective orbital link through Colindale, to Old Oak Common (linking with CrossRail). Will you consider this idea?


Answer for North & West London Light Railway

Answer for North & West London Light Railway

Answered By: 
The Mayor

London’s strategic transport requirements are determined through an integrated planning process, which includes my Transport Strategy, and this takes full account of the economic, social, environmental and spatial challenges and opportunities facing the city. In implementing my Transport Strategy, TfL has prepared sub-regional transport plans for both north and west London, which are updated on an annual basis. These set out the priorities for transport in the north and west London boroughs, in the context of London’s wider growth and outline the work being undertaken by TfL, with others, to meet these demands.


Although a North & West London light railway is not currently being considered, a number of future opportunities for improving transport in north and west London are identified within the sub-regional transport plans. The completion of the Thameslink programme in 2018 and frequency enhancements of the Northern line will assist in delivering significant future growth in areas such as Colindale and Brent Cross Cricklewood, both of which are identified as ‘Opportunity Areas’ in my London Plan, as well as the Mill Hill East Area of Intensification. The role of the bus network is also vital in shaping orbital travel across north and west London, ensuring that centres such as Finchley, Mill Hill and Brent Cross are fully integrated in terms of both radial and orbital connections.


TfL’s recent consultation regarding a new Overground station at Old Oak Common identifies the potential to establish a west London public transport ‘hub’, whilst also supporting growth and regeneration. Such work reflects TfL’s approach to unlocking the benefits of large schemes such as Crossrail and HS2 in north and west London and recognises the potential for centres such as Old Oak Common to be connected to a multitude of railways. The potential for adding a branch of Crossrail from Old Oak Common connecting to the West Coast Main Line (via northwest London stations) is also being considered by the Department for Transport, supported by TfL.


The draft London Infrastructure Plan 2050, which was published for consultation in summer 2014, expects growth in the population to over 11 million people by this date. In order to accommodate growth of this scale, various scenarios for London’s spatial development were considered and a series of high level transport requirements were identified. This indicated that in some scenarios there could be a case for the provision of new orbital rail capacity serving outer London. The case for this will ultimately depend on decisions yet to be taken about the nature and scale of development in various parts of London over the coming years and having a strong business case.