The Federation of Enfield Residents’ & Allied Associations
Enfield Residents’ & Allied Associations

Public Transport - Railways

Overview

Enfield railways were constructed many years ago and, as nearly all of them are not designated high priority inter-city routes, they still need major upgrades to service the large and growing commuter traffic to London. For Enfield to thrive its infrastructure must be kept efficient and effective.

Enfield’s population has grown for some years and promises to expand another 10% over the next 15 years. Employment within the Borough is relatively static and not likely to absorb this growth, so travel out of the Borough will grow even more in years to come. Furthermore, the Borough’s road capacity is fully committed right now, so public transport is key to maintaining employment prospects for the burgeoning population growth.

The Borough’s train services have had an indifferent service record, and are supplied with ageing stock. Stations also lack attention. However, this neglect is slowly being reversed as pressure is brought to bear on the train operating companies to make improvements

Off street car parking facilities are very restricted or nonexistent at some stations. This leads to problems caused by on street commuter parking which has made it necessary for controlled parking zones to be introduced. These parking schemes can solve on street commuter parking problems in the vicinity of stations but often merely at the price of moving them elsewhere.

Cycle racks and marked cycle routes, which would encourage more commuters to take the eco-way to work are almost non-existent.

National Rail

Enfield is served by four railway lines running in a north-south direction.

On the eastern side of the borough there are two lines which terminate at Liverpool Street Station in central London. The more easterly of these has stations at Angel Road, Ponders End, Brimsdown and Enfield Lock. Slightly to the west the other line has stations at Silver Street, Edmonton Green, Southbury and Turkey Street with a short branch serving Bush Hill Park and Enfield Town Stations.

Train services on these two lines are provided by National Express East Anglia and are generally considered to be reasonably satisfactory. Matters have improved since their franchise was extended for a further two years. When the franchise is renewed again there will be opportunity to seek major improvements, such as the introduction of automatic platform announcements.

In the centre of the Borough the Herford North loop line has train services which terminate at Kings Cross and Moorgate Stations in central London. There are stations at Bowes Park, Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill, Grange Park, Enfield Chase, Gordon Hill and Crews Hill.

On the western side of the Borough Hadley Wood Station is on the Kings Cross to Edinburgh main line.

Train services on these two lines are provided by First Capital Connect and are generally considered to be reliable and punctual.

Outrage was expressed by residents when all the trees on the embankments below the line at Grange Park were cut down by Network Rail. This was apparently to prepare the track for heavier freight trains than had previously been run on this line. FERAA condemns this vandalism.

Underground

London Underground’s Piccadilly Line has four stations in Enfield – at Cockfosters, Oakwood, Southgate and Arnos Grove – which provide vital links for many thousands commuting into central London.

They also attract a large out of town commuter and sports traffic, bringing with it high demand for car parking. Although all of these stations, except Southgate, have off street car parks they are all not large enough to deal with the peak demands for parking spaces. Once again it has been necessary to introduce controlled parking zones (which often inconvenience residents) around most of these stations in order to prevent all day on-street parking by commuters.

Enfield Town Transport Interchange

Enfield Town badly needs a convenient interchange for public transport, combining buses and train services on one site. FERAA is campaigning for facility of this type at a relocated Enfield Town Station. This is very much needed as a means of resolving the current lack of integration of bus and rail service in this area.

The Future

FERAA is campaigning not only for investment in parking, but more reliable services. The Piccadilly line service is currently scheduled to reverse a proportion of trains at Arnos Grove to maintain the highest frequency of service on the central London sections and the service to Heathrow. North of Arnos Grove demand is reckoned not to merit a better frequency. FERAA is told that new signaling (originally scheduled for 2011 and now delayed to 2014, perhaps) is required to boost the service to the Borough. FERAA is maintaining representations to the GLA which controls Transport for London and the Underground to ensure fair treatment for the Borough’s commuters.

FERAA’s affiliated associations take the view that the borough is an attractive place to live, enjoys good housing, schooling and atmosphere exhibiting good civic values – attributes they want Enfield to retain. Infrastructure is the basis of this prosperity; investment, long delayed, must be found to retain and enhance the residential experience for all.

Historically, the Borough Council has not put much effort behind negotiating improvements with the authorities, seemingly taking the view that since it cannot control such investment no campaigning investment of effort is justified. FERAA’s members resist this attitude; all boroughs are in competition with each other for infrastructure improvements and a pro-active stance is essential if not mandatory to secure the future. FERAA is campaigning in and outside the Borough for improvements in service.