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London’s Overground ‘must act as second Underground’

London’s Overground rail network should be viewed as a second Underground system, according to one of the capital’s senior transport executives.

East London Line train

Overground: Passenger numbers will keep growing

Deputy mayor for transport and Transport for London (TfL) deputy chair Isabel Dedring said that rail capacity requirements in the capital means that future reliance on the Overground will match that of the Tube network.

Dedring was speaking at the London Infrastructure Summit. She was echoing views of deputy mayor for planning Edward Lister.

Last month he said that early work to reinstate disused railway lines was underway.

“There is a boom time in transport now and there is going to be a 30% increase in London’s rail capacity by 2019,” he said.

“But we also need a whole series of smaller schemes. What would it take to switch on bits of old railway that have been long abandoned?”

Lister told NCE it was too early to name individual schemes, but he believed TfL was “well-equipped” to take over more routes. Last year it was revealed that the transport authority had been given control of some West Anglia services and stations.

Lister said some routes could adopt a guided busway.

The area around the Meridian Water development in Enfield, north London was one such route that could lend itself to a busway that would help ease pressure off the existing transport network.

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