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LONDON COUNCIL VENTS ITS FURY AT RAIL-AXE BOMBSHELL

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Bombshell news that the District Line Richmond service could be axed under plans for London's new Crossrail scheme ...
Bombshell news that the District Line Richmond service could be axed under plans for London's new Crossrail scheme has been greeted with anger by Richmond LBC.

Under the preferred Crossrail scheme, on which the public will be consulted in November, Richmond and Kew Gardens would lose their direct Tube connection to Central London.

Richmond LBC this week reacted with dismay and anger at the announcement by the Crossrail team.

Council leader Tony Arbour said:

'This is staggering news and defies belief, especially as when I met with Crossrail there was no mention of this devastating possibility.

'Crossrail has the potential to benefit Richmond but the District Line must continue to serve this area.

'We want rail services to be increased, improved and enhanced for all those who live and work in this part of London. However, the current proposals will make things worse.

'The District Line currently provides a vital direct Tube connection between Central London and our borough. Its loss would be a devastating blow for our residents and for the millions of tourists who visit the borough each year.'

Mr Arbour vowed that Richmond LBC would fight the move every step of the way.

He said: 'We shall mount a vigorous campaign to try to save this important, popular and well-used service.

'We shall be calling an urgent meeting with the Crossrail team to robustly make the case for Richmond to be served by both Crossrail and District Line trains.

'And we will put this view very forcibly in the forthcoming public consultation,' Mr Arbour added.

Notes

* Under the tunnelled option preferred by Crossrail, the District Line would no longer serve Kew Gardens and Richmond Stations. The District Line currently provides 7/8 trains at peak hours to and from Richmond.

* From Turnham Green to Richmond the current District Line services would be replaced by the Crossrail service which proceeds to Paddington, Mooregate and Liverp ool Street.

* Passengers currently using the District Line to and from central London, from Kew Gardens and Richmond would in future have to change at Turnham Green.

* The direct service currently provided by the District Line to Hammersmith, West Kensington, Earls Court, Gloucester Road, South Kensington, Victoria, St James's Park, Westminster, Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Monument and Tower Hill (amongst others) would be severed. These are key stations on the tourist route, as well as locations where many of the borough's residents currently work.

* Tourism is vital to the borough's economy and prosperity and a direct Tube line, as currently provided by the District Line, is imperative to ensure that the borough retains its attractiveness for the area's millions of visitors and tourists.

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