Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by the Muswell Hill Metro Group (RT 16)

  The Muswell Hill Metro Group proposes the reinstatement, by means of a light railway, of a rail link between Finsbury Park, Highgate and Muswell Hill using the way of an abandoned branch railway line.

  The object of this is to provide a rail link for areas at present without such a link and to provide access to the Underground at Highgate and Finsbury Park and to national railways at Finsbury Park.

  In the areas at both ends of the proposed line there is constant traffic congestion and the main Local Authority (Haringey) has as an aim the reduction of road vehicle movements in the Borough. The proposed line would assist in alleviating congestion and reducing vehicle movements.

  The development of Alexandra Palace as a leisure and events venue will need a public transport service and the proposed line would meet this need; reducing road movements and the use of local residential roads for parking by visitors to events.

  The bus routes used by people who might use the rail line are subject to considerable traffic congestion with consequent extended journey times.

  Apart from two locations where the way of the line has been built on, the formation (bridges, embankments) remains in being so it is felt constructing a light rail line would not present major problems.

  It is, therefore, difficult to understand the refusal of the Local Authorities to conduct any inquiry into the transport value of the proposed line. Despite prolonged correspondence with the Leader of Haringey Council (then Lord Harris) the Council could not be persuaded to conduct either a study into the feasibility of the proposal or surveys to discover whether local people would use the proposed line.

  There are concrete proposals for the extension of the East London Line and if this Line was to reach Finsbury Park the line to Muswell Hill would complement it.

  The Docklands Light Railway is said to want to extend and it is believed it is practical to join the DLR. to the large diameter tube line to Finsbury Park at present used by the WAGN. trains. The proposed light rail line could complement the DLR. or even be part of this extension.

  The refusal of the Local Authority (Haringey) to investigate the value of the proposed line has meant that others who might take an interest in it such as London Transport do not do so. The way of the line is in the ownership in the main of Haringey Council.

  An adjoining Local Authority (Islington), with a smaller connection with the route of the line has likewise shown no inclination to investigate its value in reducing traffic congestion.

October 1999

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