MP presses minister on Stratford Eurostar stop

MP Stephen Timms has issued a renewed call for cross-Channel train services to call at Stratford International station.

The East Ham MP made the appeal in a Commons exchange with Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond.

Mr Timms said: “At great expense, a station has been built on High Speed 1 that says ‘Stratford International’ on the outside, even though no international trains stop there.

“When will this rather embarrassing state of affairs be resolved?”

Mr Hammond said the issue was an operational matter for companies running services on the line.

“I can tell the House that Deutsche Bahn intends to start running services from Frankfurt to London in 2012, and I hope that other operators will start to run similar services,” he added.

Mr Hammond said that the more operators there were on the route, the more chance there was of the campaign succeeding.

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Stratford International was completed in 2006 at a total cost of �210million.

It is located 400 yards from the Olympic Stadium.

High-speed services to Kent have been operating from the station since December. However there are currently no plans for Eurostar for trains to stop there.

Bosses at the cross-Channel train operator have said they will examine the issue after the 2012 Games.

The station is adjacent to Stratford City, which is planned to become the Europe’s largest urban shopping centre.

John Burton, development director of Stratford City, has said that the station is at risk of turning into a “white elephant” should Eurostar trains not stop at the station.

Mr Timms started the campaign for the station at Stratford while he was Newham’s chair of planning in 1987.

Speaking after his exchange with Mr Hammond, he said: “The case for international trains to stop at Stratford is a very strong one.

“I am disappointed that the government is not stepping in to solve the problem.

“I hope train operators will commit to international services stopping at Stratford without delay.”