Catalyst for regeneration: Meridian Water station on the day of opening to passengers, 3 June 2019. Antony Guppy

THE NEW Meridian Water station in Enfield was opened on 3 June by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport Heidi Alexander. The station has replaced the adjacent Angel Road, which closed following the last train on Friday 31 May, with the station’s footbridge removed over the intervening weekend.

The new station has been built as part of the Lee Valley Rail Programme, delivered by Network Rail and contractor VolkerFitzpatrick. The programme includes construction of a new 5.5km track between Lea Bridge and Meridian Water, which will be used by a new half-hourly shuttle service between Stratford and Meridian Water operated by Greater Anglia, due to start on 9 September. Additional platforms have also been built at Tottenham Hale and Northumberland Park stations to serve the third track, as well as new accessible footbridges at both stations.

The programme has brought together public and private sector bodies in a collaborative funding arrangement, with support from the UK Government, the Mayor of London, the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), Transport for London, and Enfield and Haringey Councils.

Meridian Water is at the heart of a £6 billion development led by Enfield Council, which is planned to see 10,000 new homes built in the area.

The council has selected Galliford Try as its preferred bidder to deliver Phase One of the development, to include 725 new homes built to the west of the railway, the first of which are planned to be completed in 2022.

A second phase of development would bring a further 200 homes, all of which will be affordable housing. The council has led on the design and development of the station, which is also intended to provide a 24-hour walking route across the railway, thus joining up the two sides of the community.

Until the Stratford shuttle starts in September, Meridian Water will receive the same skeleton service as Angel Road, with trains only stopping in the morning and evening peaks on weekdays. Before the new shuttle can begin Greater Anglia must complete a driver training programme while final assurance work on the new track is also ongoing, along with finishing works at the station itself.

The programme has also made provision where possible for future potential four-tracking of the route through the Lee Valley for Crossrail 2. Active provision has been made at Meridian Water station, although the constrained sites at Northumberland Park and Tottenham Hale would likely require staggered platforms to be served by a fourth track, which would be built on the east side of the alignment.