East Ham MP Stephen Timms wants international trains at Stratford

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- Credit: Archant

Seven years after Stratford International station opened, it is time to bring international rail services to Newham.

In 1992 we won the City Challenge bid, ‘Change at Stratford’. It was based on the idea of international train services. It kick-started regeneration, and laid foundations for hosting the Olympics. Stratford International station was built.

The infrastructure is ready for international services. The only thing missing is high-speed trains from Europe stopping there.

It is time to cement the Olympic legacy, and recognise Newham as London’s gateway to Europe.

Business demand is growing. Development of The International Quarter and the Olympicopolis on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will continue to support Stratford’s emergence as a growing business and cultural hub for London. European businesses and visitors need to be able to travel here quickly and easily.

Demand from residents is growing too. The opening of Crossrail in 2019 will mean even more people using Stratford station. The Department for Transport estimates that, by 2021, 7.3 million people will enter or exit Crossrail services through Stratford station each year. 20 per cent more people will be using Stratford station by 2026. And the Office for National Statistics predicts that, between 2012 and 2022, Newham’s population will increase by 16pc.

Lyn Brown and I recently arranged a meeting with the infrastructure managers, High Speed 1. They have opened up the line, allowing other operators to bid to use it. Train operators need to wake up to the business case for stopping at Stratford International.

Working with the council, Lyn and I will point out that our part of London is a thriving place to visit, learn and work, and that more and more people want to come. We want to show Europe what Newham has to offer, and – at last – for international trains to stop here. More from Stephen

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