MORE jobs and better transport links could be on the horizon for Chingford after bringing back the Hall Farm Curve rail track became a serious option for the near future.

The railway link between Chingford and Stratford, which was closed in the late '60s, will be seriously considered for railway projects starting in seven years' time.

The news came as the introduction of a new train station at Chingford Hatch was also proposed in the same report, commissioned by national group Railfuture and the Chingford Line Users' Association (CLUA).

Campaigners have hailed the announcements as great news after experiencing disappointment in trying to get the rail link re-established in the recent past.

Peter Woodrow, chairman of CLUA, said a return of the Hall Farm Curve would bring employment and infrastructure to "isolated" Chingford.

"It would be really beneficial," he said. "There's massive transport connections at Stratford and suddenly all the jobs in the Docklands and east London generally are much more accessible to an isolated area.

"It's further into the future than we would like, obviously, but it's been called a serious option which is great."

The journey time between Chingford and Stratford could be cut to just 20 minutes, but Mr Woodrow said Waltham Forest Council and CLUA must make a strong case to show that the reopened link would be profitable for Network Rail.

They must do the same for the proposed station at Chingford Hatch, which could be built alongside one in Forest Road, Walthamstow, to provide a better service on the Chingford to Liverpool Street line.

But both projects would come after the government and Network Rail decide on whether to reopen Lea Bridge Station in Walthamstow, which closed in 1985.

The report, which was presented to the council last night, provides a strong argument for reopening the station after TfL gave its backing to the project last year, said Mr Woodrow.

"It's looking more than 50 per cent likely that it's going to reopen, we're very pleased," he added. "The report sums up the high levels of deprivation in the wards of that part of the borough so it makes a strong case for reopening it."

The Trevor Patrick Partnership has now drawn up designs for the new station, which would reduce journeys between Walthamstow and Stratford or Tottenham Hale to just 12 minutes each, instead of the current 34 minutes and 43 minutes respectively.

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