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Monorail plans drawn up by London borough


Plans for a monorail system are being drawn up by Havering Council in East London, to improve north-south connectivity in the borough.  

Havering Council chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert revealed the plans while speaking at the Thames Estuary Development Conference. 

Announcing a new type of rail link as a “priority” for the borough, Blake-Herbert confirmed that plans for a monorail were being developed. 

“Nothing goes north and south,” Blake-Herbert said. “The absolute priority is creating sustainable north-south transport infrastructure. We’re currently working on what a tram or monorail network would look like.” 

He added that the council is “not wedded” to Transport for London providing the mooted services, which could be furnished by a separate private operator. 

Havering is already set to benefit from Crossrail, with three Elizabeth Line stations in the borough. Those stations will run east to west, from Romford to Harold Wood, with the proposed monorail set to improve connectivity from the north to south.

The Havering Local Plan, published in 2016, outlines plans for improving connections between Romford and Harold Hill in the north of the borough, with Rainham in the south with a project timeline of 10-15 years. However, instead of a monorail, the plan suggests that either light rail, trams or a guided bus system could be implemented.

Havering Council leader Damian White said the council is now working on evaluating the financial feasbility of a rail-type link for the area. “Havering is currently undertaking high level feasibility work looking at the potential for a north-south public transport connection within the borough,” he said. ”The link would connect the two emerging housing zones in Rainham and Beam Park with Romford as well as provide connections further north to Collier Row and Harold Hill.

“Part of the work to be commissioned this year will examine the financial viability of such a link, the potential for a new public transport connection to generate investment, and further growth and jobs in the borough.”



Source: MonoMetro

A render produced by MonoMetro, who lobbied for a monorail-alternative to Crossrail in the early 2000’s

London does already have a functional monorail. National Grid operates a private, underground monorail system to inspect 20km worth of electricity cables running from Elstree to St John’s Wood. 

In the early 2000s a 270km hanging monorail system was also suggested as an alternative to Crossrail by UK firm MonoMetro.  

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Philip Alexander

    I seem to remember that the Merry Hill monorail was dismantled in the 90s because HMRI decided it was too dangerous to evacuate in the event of a fire or other emergency onboard. The fire brigade said that every part has to be accessible from below. Quite right too. It was reconstructed on the Gold Coast in Queensland and also recently demolished for the same reason. The Sydney monorail has also been dismantled for the same reason.
    May I suggest that Havering council establishes if it would be allowed to operate with passengers before spending too much on the engineering and commercial viability. Although it looks like they've spent a fair bit on glossy graphics to get everyone excited. Please don't waste council taxpayers money but spending yourself up a blind alley.

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  • Mono rails are for Disneyland and the like. Unfortunately their sheer scarcity world-wide should be some clue as to why something developed in the 1960's has never taken off. Completely agree with PA who posted previously.

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