Pete Waterman backs Harlesden traders and residents over controversial rail plans

Pop impressio supports High Speed Rail 2

A pop impresario has joined residents and traders in backing a controversial high speed railway link.

Pete Waterman, a keen rail enthusiast, is supporting High Speed Rail 2 (HS2), an underground railway between London and Birmingham.

The former Pop Idol judge was joined by residents for a demonstration at Willesden Junction station supporting a railway interchange at a site in Old Oak Common, Harlesden, which locals say would provide a huge boast for the area

The railway link has come in for widespread criticism from residents in Queens Park, Westminster, who are concerned building work will damage their homes and create noise pollution.

But Mr Waterman said: “It’s all very well for NIMBYs (not in my back yard) to worry about their lawns, but with the demand for rail travel predicted to continue to grow, the railways are facing serious capacity issues.”

According to a top urban design consultant the plans could see around 12,000 new homes and 115,000 extra jobs created in North-West London.

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Paul Keegan, 51, Chairman of the Old Oak Tenants and Residents Association said: “Anything that brings regeneration and jobs to this area will be welcomed.

“We are just crying out for new businesses and jobs.”

Plans for HS2 include a major interchange station at Old Oak Common which would link HS2 with Crossrail, Great Western Main Line, Heathrow Express and the Bakerloo tube line.

The government consultation ended last week.

The link is projected to be completed by 2026, with the extension to Manchester ready by 2033.