HARLOW MP Robert Halfon supports the idea of a tube line coming to Harlow – just not yet.
“It’s a brilliant idea in the long term and I would certainly support the campaign for one. I believe it would be great for the environment and commuters,” said Robert Halfon.
Harlow is a developing town and has a growing population of approximately 90,000 people. The original Harlow New Town was built in the late 40s after WWII, to ease overcrowding in London and the surrounding areas due to the devastation caused by the Blitz bombings.
With Public Health England planning to relocate to the town, many residents believe that Harlow would benefit greatly from an underground tube station.
Harlow currently has two railway stations: Harlow Town Station and Harlow Mill Station. It also has a bus service to Epping tube station, which lies on the London Underground Central line. Extending the Central Line to include Harlow would eradicate the need for said bus service, removing congestion from the roads and helping the environment.
Harlow is around 22 miles from the capital, which could be considered too far to qualify for a tube station, but Amersham, Buckinghamshire is over 30 miles from the capital and yet is part of the Metropolitan line.
Skye Stewart, a 20-year-old student from Clapham, spends over two hours each day commuting to and from Harlow College.
“I get a train from Clapham Junction to Vauxhall, then change again at Tottenham Hale before getting the Greater Anglia service to Harlow Town station,” said Skye, “It can be exhausting. A tube service would make my journey a lot easier.”
While the idea of a new terminal connecting Harlow to London is supported by many, there’s no evidence to suggest that an extension is in the works.
In 2015, the Crossrail 2 scheme planned to connect North and South London, with a new line running between Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire and Epsom, Surrey. Harlow Council expressed its interest in becoming a Crossrail 2 station, but the entire scheme was put on hold in 2018 and there has been no new activity since.
“At the present time, I think our immediate focus will be on the recovery from the coronavirus and on delivering the huge infrastructure projects that are underway such as the new Junction 7a, the new hospital, the town centre regeneration and much more,” Mr Halfon concluded.
Photo: Harlow Town railway station entrance.