Local MP Justine Greening Writes To Putney

Heathrow, Network Rail, Thames Tunnel & more


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Justine's last article

Hello everyone,

It’s been a busy time in my role as Secretary of State for International Development and I’ve travelled overseas to the Philippines following the typhoon - direct from a meeting at the Putney Society - and Kuwait and Lebanon to work on helping the refugees affected by the crisis in Syria. Even so, there’s a lot going on locally and I’ve also been working hard on the issues that matter to us as residents so read on for my latest update.

Heathrow Public Meeting at St Mary’s Church, 7.30pm Thursday, 6th February
The independent Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies is looking at the UK’s future airport capacity needs and it published its interim report at the end of last year. It’s suggested three main options, two of which involve extra capacity at Heathrow and a third which sees a new runway at Gatwick. I’m holding a public meeting at St Mary’s Church in Putney at 7.30pm on Thursday 6 February. It’s a chance for us to hear about the proposals in more detail and to have our say.
Night flights consultation

Night flights and early morning aircraft noise are especially disruptive locally. The last major consultation in 2006 proposed extra night flights which we successfully campaigned against. The Department for Transport is now proposing to extend the existing regime for another 3 years until 2017. Alongside Wandsworth Borough Council, my response to the proposal set out our local views about wanting to see a steady phasing out of aircraft landing at Heathrow overnight and in the early morning and I am urging the Government to look more closely at the health and economic effects that early morning noise has on communities like ours under the flight path.

District Line upgrade

At my latest meeting with London Underground managers we discussed plans to upgrade the Wimbledon branch of the line. The brand new S-stock District Line trains are at last due to come into operation in this month and they will mean a big increase in capacity – 25% extra. The tubes have more carriages which all connect so there are also more seats. As they are air conditioned, there will be no need for air vents behind the seats so there’ll be a lot more aisle space to stand too. It should also mean a slightly faster journey time.

Network Rail/South West Trains
As of May this year, timetabled South West train services will finally be using platforms which have stood vacant since Eurostar moved to Kings Cross St Pancras in 2008. The additional capacity at Waterloo is needed to accommodate the extra 108 carriages which are being introduced on South West Trains commuter services over the next few months to provide more capacity for around 23,000 peak time passengers every day.

The improvements to Putney Station are also continuing and are scheduled to finish this summer with new lifts, ticket gates, extended canopies and an expanded concourse area outside. Many residents have also got in touch to express their support for a possible second entrance to the station on Oxford Road which will relieve congestion at the main entrance and be much more convenient for East Putney residents. I am pushing for this proposal to be taken forward with Network Rail, Wandsworth Council and the Department for Transport.

Taxis in Putney
There have been some concerns raised about the reduction in the taxi rank outside Putney Station while the work there goes on. Some constituents have suggested that it would be useful to have additional taxi ranks in other locations in Putney and I am following this up with Transport for London and our local taxi drivers to see if we can get a better service for residents.

Thames Tunnel
Last week I held another Thames Tunnel working group meeting with residents and Thames Water. Thames Water’s application sees Carnwarth Road as the site for the main drive shaft. I will continue to work with local residents to make the case for it to be at that brownfield site rather than the playing fields at Barn Elms. Thames Water also confirmed at the meeting they have improved their local plans, meaning that Glendarvon Street will no longer have large numbers of HGVs using it, and will use river barges instead which is great news. During discussions with Glendarvon Street residents about Thames Tunnel issues, they raised concerns about potholes in their street. I followed this up and the road has been resurfaced – overall it’s a great result for local residents who have been really concerned about the impact that the HGVs and building work could have on their street.

Out and About
I recently visited Rosslyn Park Rugby Club. As one of the oldest rugby clubs in the country, it is looking at how it can be a bigger part of our local community, including schools, as well as giving us lots of brilliant rugby on our doorstep. Finally, I attended a great concert at All Saints’ Church in Putney last Sunday with lots of fantastic musicians which was held to raise money for the British Red Cross’s Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. Having been to Tacloban in the Philippines myself, I know how vital our help will continue to be for those people affected.

If you ever need my help as your local MP please do get in touch with me either by email at greeningj@parliament.uk or by writing to me at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. I also hold regular surgeries in local libraries, so do call me on 020 8946 4557 if you would like to find out about the next one.

Best wishes

Justine Greening MP

February 7, 2014