Twickenham residents fight train station rejuvenation plans


Thousands have signed a petition against the £40million plans in preparation for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.


By Randy Brangman, Stephanie Lawson, Noel Graffie and Matthew Stott

Thousands of Twickenham residents have signed a petition against the £40million rejuvenation plans in preparation for the next Rugby World Cup.

Developers were given the go-ahead to modernise the train station by building three tall blocks of flats as well as shops and restaurants around a plaza, after a heated Planning Committee meeting last December.

However, residents object to the plans from Solum Regeneration, a joint venture between station owner Network Rail and developer Kier Property.

Michael Izett, a Twickenham student, 21, said: “My friend lives right next to the station; his view will be completely blocked. It will generally be disruptive to his life.”

The Twickenham Residents Action Group (TRAG) has commissioned its own alternative “low rise” scheme – Plan B.

Their proposal is being supported by their local MP, Business Secretary Vince Cable. 

The Rugby Football Union, which backs Solum’s plans, says the station could not cope with the 300,000 fans expected to arrive by train during the six-week tournament in 2015.

The rugby stadium attracts more than 1million people each year and almost half of these visitors use Twickenham station.

Fraser Cullen, community relations manager for the RFU, said: “We have engaged widely on the Solum plans and we support the scheme as the only viable option that can be delivered by 2015.” 

However, some local residents back the station plans. Jenny Claridge, a Twickenham station cashier, said: “I think it is a a good idea to modernise the station, we need a new ticket office.”

Philip Carter, support worker, Haggard Road, said: “I am pleased to hear that they are going to renew the train station because obviously it is very busy.”

TRAG now plans to take the decision to judicial review at the High Court.

Related Articles