Harlow Council to lobby for extension to Central Line tube station into town

News / Tue 10th Aug 2021 at 05:17pm

By Local Democracy Reporter

A NEW tube station might be coming to Harlow as the town’s council confirms it will lobby for an extension of the central line and London Transport Zones.

Harlow Council also said it will examine connectivity to Crossrail 2, which runs from Surrey to Hertfordshire and connects their stations to London, as well as improving current public transport links in and out of the town.

But an expert suggested ticket prices may get cheaper and house prices may rise, but journey times will not necessarily get any faster.

Portfolio Holder for Strategic Growth Michael Hardware (Con, Staple Tye) said in a statement: “With Harlow’s close proximity to London our plans include investigating the potential for the extension of the central line to Harlow, lobbying to extend London Transport Zones to Harlow, examining connectivity to Crossrail 2 and promoting four tracking of the mainline to Stansted Airport as well as improving existing public transport links in and out of the town.

“Our Town Plan, which will detail our ambitions, is being developed at present. A draft of the plan will be brought forwards within weeks and we will be involving the whole town in our vision with full consultation on the plan be held in the autumn. The draft plan will include our ambitions for levelling up transport infrastructure and much more besides.”

The developments are part of the Town Plan, which would see Harlow expand by 19,000 homes and to a population of 130,000 people.

Transport for London (TfL) says it is unaware of any engagement with Harlow Council.

Speaking to the LDRS, Dr James Fowler, lecturer in Management at The University of Essex Business School and author of London Transport: A Hybrid in History 1905-48, said there was “no doubt” a tube station would be beneficial for Harlow, but residents should “check the small print” over factors like journey times.

He said: “I know that Harlow is very well served already, so the big question is how fast is that connection once it goes in. 

“Your speed of getting into town on the tube is the real convenience, so that’s the thing that people in Harlow would want to watch and see what they get at the end of it.

“If you’re weighing up prices, look at what it costs to get in from Amersham or Chesham, or one of those towns right out on the far end of the metropolitan line, and you’re right out in the countryside, that’s about where it would be on the end of an extended central line.”

“It will do a lot for house prices because the map is important and either you’re on that map or you are not. Obviously it would put you on that map unambiguously.”

According to TfL’s single fare finder, a contactless single from Amersham to Liverpool Street costs £4.30 off peak, £7.20 peak, and takes 65 minutes. Meanwhile, according to The Trainline, an overground single from Harlow Town to Liverpool Street costs £14.50 and takes 35 minutes.

The average price paid for a house in Harlow over the last year is £342,943 according to Zoopla and £336,827 according to Rightmove.

The Harlow Town Plan also includes the move of Public Health England headquarters, a new hospital, a new Innovation Park for science and technology-focused businesses and the growth of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

The plan went to the Cabinet Policy Development Working Group last Thursday and is due to be discussed at a Cabinet meeting in September before public consultation.

Councillor Dan Swords, Harlow Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “We have an extremely ambitious vision to make Harlow the best town in Britain to raise your family, to send your kids to school, to start a business, to live and to be. 74 years into Harlow’s history, we are facing a crucial juncture with ageing infrastructure and a need for more investment. That is why we will be bringing forward the biggest programme of regeneration and renewal since Harlow was built.

“With the exciting plans for a new town centre, the move of Public Health England, the Innovation Park, new hospital and the growth of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town we are looking at all possibilities for improving and modernising transport connections in and out of the town and also within Harlow.”

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22 Comments for Harlow Council to lobby for extension to Central Line tube station into town:

Tony Edwards
2021-08-10 18:11:36

Amazing all of the things that Cllrs Swords and Hardware now claim were being achieved under the Labour Administration. Public Health England, The Innovation Park, the modernisation of the Transport Links the growth of the Garden Town, the New Hospital, funding for regeneration of the Town Centre. If you don’t believe me look at the minutes of Council meetings.

2021-08-10 18:30:22

and promoting four tracking of the mainline to Stansted Airport Quote, So more tearing up of the Stort Valley wetlands, I despair sometimes the way this country is going.

Steve snail
2021-08-10 19:09:18

This will never ever happen. Its a non starter. Probably still more realistic then this council getting my bins collected on time though!

2021-08-10 21:03:09

They were talking about this 50 years ago, even though the costs would be lower as there would be no tunnelling involved it still didn't happen. That is why Ongar and Blake Hall stations were shut down many years ago.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-10 21:18:52

The Tories were poo pooing these sort of ideas just a few months ago when Labour were in power. Before going any further, can anyone from the Tories spell out exactly where a tube line would enter Harlow, the route it would take and where a station would be? We have a perfectly good train service and two stations in the town, the problem is the fares, which is why so many commuters travel to Epping and Loughton. What is needed is an extension to the Oyster Card system to include the two stations in Harlow.

2021-08-10 21:41:34

Please let this really happen…….. overground costs far more than the underground to even get to the underground than a taxi is to Epping to get on said tube line. So, please. I have a child who has regular visits to GOSH via central. Once she reached 5 I had to pay for her on overground. Regardless it being cheap. Children travelling on underground it’s free until 14. I still have 12 years ahead to pay for her to attend vital appointments. People like me who travel for medical, and the people who work in central from the town will definitely be grateful:)

Darren Franklin
2021-08-11 06:25:07

Welcome to Harlow, the next Borough of London !!!

2021-08-11 07:27:51

Point of information: Epping to Liverpool Street 42 min. So the only question remains is how long it would take to travel by central line from Harlow to Epping 5 to 10 minutes? Although a tube extension might be convenient the impact on the town could be massive. Much to worry about and not least, as with the exodus to towns at similar distances from London are experiencing, a quantum leap in house prices, on top of the one that's already happening. This will push many of our children to leave town because prices of rents and property will be out of reach. Non of the new developments like at Gilston Harlow Garden Town development of 23000 homes will have any properties that can be afforded nor any Council houses. Furthermore the tube extensions' affect on large developments like Gilston on the North from Epping on the south and north east East perimeter, will be to encourage ribbon development between Harlow and Bishop's Stortford, Epping and the new town development at Hatfield Heath. Lots of business for property developers but they'll attempt to trash the ecology and natural environment just like hggt pfp are proposing to do in the Stort River Valley, changing the character of Harlow and surrounding villages whilst not serving the needs of residents and our children. Such development doesn't provide new housing for the people who need it, only those who can afford half to one million pounds to get out of London, work from home and travel in a couple of times a week. Be careful what you wish for....

2021-08-11 07:29:27

Darren has it completely right, well said.

Tony Edwards
2021-08-11 14:31:06

Regarding the Underground link, Cllrs were advised at a recent Town Plan meeting that this had been looked at approximately 20 years ago and at that time is was thought to be uneconomic. Prior to the May election the late Cllr Purton was looking at a “Sustainable Transport Link” (Not a Monorail as the Tories would have you believe but rather an electric bendy bus with its own dedicated route) linking Harlow North Weald Bassett and Epping) This would in turn link with the Harlow to St Albans Rapid Transport link being proposed by Herts County Council.

Richard Adams
2021-08-11 17:57:15

Irrespective of who thought of it first this should be looked at. We are already lumbered with new development south of the town which is supposed to link into the towns transport system so why not extend this to north Weald and reopen the old tube line. A new connection could run from junction 7 of the M11 along side the M11. The M11 actually crosses the old tube line so this could be done at minimum cost. I don’t think we are talking actual tube trains but something like guided electric buses. If we are to be carbon neutral in the future we need to start thinking outside the box

Tony Durcan
2021-08-11 18:22:17

To be honest I would prefer a council that knows how to empty bins first. Harlow Tories are desperate for a good new story and are now re inventing History to try and avoid the truth that there are fairly useless at leading this town. Just like they are going to design and build world class cycle tracks that they had forgotten they don’t even owe. Please stop the spin and empty the bins.

Paul Henderson
2021-08-11 19:29:54

The tube extension makes sense. As for house prices, well one cannot buck the market. Harlow is strategically located and with improved transportation links will attract more high tech businesses and investment and more skilled jobs. Harlow property prices are still relatively low compared with neighbouring areas, e.g. Epping, Brentwood, East Herts and with these initiatives and other regeneration projects, the gap should close. Nobody has a God given right to be able buy property in any particular place. There are plenty of creative ways to build affordable housing so that people can get on the ladder.

2021-08-12 06:34:23

Tony... you’re obsessed with Harlow council and the bin situation... can you give it a rest?

paul henderson
2021-08-12 08:16:23

Indeed Mr Durcan is obsessed with the rubbish. His own administration was woeful in that regard and took none of the measures being taken by the new administration against Veolia. Best not to forget that this was a contract the new administration had inherited. As far as the cycle tracks are concerned, yes they are owned by Essex County Council, but what is to stop a new arrangement being agreed. Mr Durcan frequently struggles to look beyond the confines of the box he has placed himself inside.

Tony Durcan
2021-08-12 09:52:14

Yet again insult to others only show the author in a bad light. All am asking is the get the basics right let’s keep the streets clean collect the rubbish and make the environment safe. Regarding the tube who is being lobbied,most of the track will be Epping Forest land. We’re will it come in and we’re will the new station be placed. Transport for London has made it clear there is no further extension to this line. Only a few years ago transport for London talked about reducing the service ending at Redbridge for this line when Johnson was mayor of London. Last year we talked about a direct bus connection to north Weald and using the disused tube line as a bus access point directly into the tube station. This was shouted down by the very same Tory group. Regarding design and council funding world class cycle ways don’t commit to design develop and fund if you don’t actual own them. What service will be cut to fund this. So I don’t apologise for raising issues that effect my local community and actually really matter for all our communities. So the Tories can spin forever but what matters is getting the basic right. Insults won’t silence anyone.

Paul Henderson
2021-08-12 10:25:15

Mr Durcan, I fail to see anything insulting. My point is that you seem incapable of appreciating that circumstances change: what was applicable 5, 10, 20 years ago no longer be the case. This applies to a tube link or the cycle tracks. Why do you constantly see it as a choice between existing services or a new initiative. There are many forward thinking councils across the country that have started successful new ventures and projects in partnerships with private sector companies for the benefit of their communities. Hopefully, the new Council will show more enterprise and energy in this regard. This is what I am referring to by ‘thinking outside the box’.

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-12 11:32:38

Paul, just to get back to the point ...... as you will see from a more recent article, no-one seems to have asked TFL about such a proposal. I have asked the Tories but received no response, perhaps you can you tell me where you think the tube would enter the town and where a station would be sited bearing in mind the thousands of homes being planned by Epping Forest DC on Harlow's borders. There simply is not one without wholesale destruction of homes, green wedges. Not often I can say it but I agree with Cllr Durcan, this is simply Tory spin. The answer to the problem is a simple one ..... extend the Oyster card.

Tony Durcan
2021-08-12 14:49:23

Nicholas even am surprised.

Marc Ricketts
2021-08-13 11:13:31

That would be good to Expand London Underground to Harlow. Including Hoddesdon. Not if longs you could plan Crossrail 2 instead of London Underground. And Help Reduce the Traffic on the Roads. As the people need to go to work in London everyday. And we could even Expand Crossrail 1 or 2 to Stansted Airport, Clacton-on-sea and Southend as well

Ian Baker
2021-08-14 07:12:28

building more houses in Harlow is a great plan if it takes development away from existing towns and villages in Essex. The infrastructure does not exist in them and having a properly planned house building area is far better. Here we have pressure on schools and doctors surgeries, no additional car parking at railway stations, and roads chock-a block at busy times. Start again, do it properly, provide decent transport links too.

2022-04-28 08:02:48

It would be Good if they could Expand London Underground to Harlow in the future. Instead of taking the Normal Train. Whatever your Convenience is. Or they could put in ether London Overground or TFL-RAIL as well. But I Think they Should plan to Expand it to Gatwick Airport, Clacton On Sea and Southend Victoria in the future as well.

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