Getting Cross over Crossrail

Residents' Groups Step Up Anti-Crossrail Campaign

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Some local residents have stepped up their campaign against the proposed Crossrail network claiming that the new transport link will have numerous devastating effects on our immediate environment.

They say that Secretary of State, Alistair Darling, will be making his decision about the route that Crossrail will take, within the next few weeks, but some residents feel that they have not been consulted nor had a proper opportunity to make their feeling known.

The strongest opposition to the plans is coming from the Hartswood Road area in Stamford Brook under which the Crossrail tunnel is likely to pass.

The opinion of group of residents is that �There are considerable drawbacks to such a major construction project occurring here, in the very heart of Chiswick when there would have been many other locations where people could easily link into the new Crossrail network without bringing Chiswick to a standstill for years (until 2017 even if construction runs to time) whilst this major piece of engineering � to tunnel all the way from Wormwood Scrubs to Turnham Green - is achieved and with the permanent loss of Common Land both at Chiswick Back Common and at Stamford Brook.�  

They go on to state that, �This is the only area along the whole of the South -Western branch line where Crossrail propose to tunnel� all of the rest of the route goes along existing tracks and will not require anything like this level of excavation and consequent disruption and cost.�

Another group of residents association has listed all the possible negative effects citing:

  • Destruction of the 'village' character of Turnham Green Terrace
  • Demolition of a whole row of local shops and homes on Turnham Green Terrace and Thornton Ave, replacing them with a vast new station and entrance.
  • Destruction of common land at Chiswick Common (next to Turnham Green Terrace) � mature trees, shrubs, tennis courts will be replaced by huge construction site, where a vast trench some 30 metres wide by 6 metres deep for new station
  • Severe traffic congestion in Bath Road, South Parade and all surrounding streets during the 4 year construction
  • Destruction of common land at Stamford Brook Common with a massive and unsightly ventilation tower building at the eastern end, thereby ruining the beauty of this historic area, which has some of the oldest houses in West London.

  • However, many of the residents' associations in Chiswick, while concerned about a number of aspects, are not against the Crossrail project, considering that there are potential benefits as well as concerns; they want more information rather than risk stirring up unnecessary fears in the community.

    A group of associations known as the Corridor 6 Action Group has been having regular meetings with Crossrail to obtain more information and to encourage Crossrail to consider ideas which would reduce the negative aspects of the project. So far, these discussions, attended also by a representative of Hounslow Council, have been "highly constructive" according to one C6AG member, and should ensure that the extra information to be available to residents in the spring will address many of their concerns.

    In Acton posters have been appearing claiming that Crossrail will mean the closure of Acton Mainline station. A group called Save Acton Mainline have been distributing leaflets which say that secret plans have been drawn up to close the station. Crossrail has vigorously denied that there is any such plan for closure and have contacted the group to arrange a meeting. Mayor Ken Livingstone has said that he will not support any Crossrail plan that passes through Acton without a stop. At this stage Crossrail are not planning to use Acton Mainline and existing services to the station will need to be reduced to allow Crossrail trains to share the track.

    Our latest information is that the Government are currently considering a report by Adrian Montague into the viability of Crossrail and that the main obstacle remains finding finance for the project. There has been speculation in the press that the report recommends that the western spur of the project that would link Chiswick to Paddington be ditched and just the main east west London link implemented.

    March 2, 2004