Regular commuters to London will be familiar with the busy train service from Petersfield and the challenge to get a seat on the return journey. Network Rail are carrying out a review of their infrastructure and investment to look at future capacity requirements and where they need to fund improvements. This study is expected to be published in Summer this year.
The initial findings (document attached at the end of this post) look at the 28 year period to 2043 and the funding that needs to be prioritised in the next 10 years. The key finding is that the demand on the services will increase close to London by 40% growth PLUS 20% overcrowding. Effectively capacity needs to increase by 60% by 2043.
This is a major challenge. Not only does this need to be carried out on a live network (look at the outcry when engineering works over ran last Christmas) but the current infrastructure at peak times is already full at key points like outside Waterloo station and key junctions like Woking, Basingstoke and Eastleigh.
Some of the softer options are to increase 8 car trains to 10 car trains and stations are being extended to accommodate 12 car trains but some fundamental works are going to be required to accommodate the expected growth.
Personally I do not see the attraction of struggling into London and on the underground every day. Businesses need to look to areas where there are good settlements to site new offices to minimise commuting. This leads to better well being and just lower costs.
The Land East Of Horndean site has 1.8 Hectares of employment land and at the moment I am working with EHDC Officers, Solent LEP and the Developer with an aspiration to see one job for every new home on the development. Keep watching the blog for more information in due course.