Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, today asked Transport Secretary, Phillip Hammond MP, about the possibility of international trains stopping at Stratford.

During Transport questions in the House of Commons, Mr Timms asked:  “At great expense, a station has been built on High Speed 1 that says ‘Stratford International’ on the outside, even though no international trains stop there. When will this rather embarrassing state of affairs be resolved?”

In his response, Mr Hammond said that: “Operational matters on High Speed 1 are a matter for the concessionaire and for the companies operating the services. I can tell the House that Deutsche Bahn intends to start running services from Frankfurt to London in 2012, and I hope that other operators will start to run similar services.” Referring to Mr Timms’ campaign for international services, Mr Hammond went on to say the more operators there are on the route, the more chance there is of the campaign succeeding.

Stratford International was completed in 2006 at a total cost of £210 million and is located 400 yards from the Olympic Stadium.  Trains have been operating from the station since December, however there are currently no plans from Eurostar for trains to stop at Stratford International until after the 2012 Olympic Games.  The station is adjacent to Stratford City, which will be the Europe’s largest urban shopping centre. John Burton, Development Director of Stratford City, has previously stated that the station was at risk of becoming a “white elephant” should Eurostar trains not stop at the station.

Mr Timms started the campaign for the station at Stratford as Newham’s Chair of Planning in 1987.  Speaking later, he said: “The case for international trains to stop at Stratford is a very strong one.  I am disappointed that the Government is not stepping in to solve the problem.  I hope train operators will commit to international services stopping at Stratford without delay.”

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AuthorStephen Timms