Image: A train at Belmont station. Credit: Dr Neil Clifton. CC BY-SA 2.0
The number of trains serving The London Cancer Hub’s local rail station, Belmont, is set to double thanks to £14m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The number of trains between Belmont station – a few minutes’ walk from The London Cancer Hub – and central London will increase from two to four per hour under the plans.
The new services will run from Belmont to London Victoria, via Sutton. The new funding will also deliver improvements to Belmont station and new walking and cycling routes to The London Cancer Hub.
The investment will help to unlock the full potential of The London Cancer Hub, a world-leading life sciences campus being developed in Belmont that is projected to create 13,000 jobs, and to contribute £1.2 billion each year to the UK economy.
The London Borough of Sutton won the funding with a bid that received strong support from The Institute of Cancer Research, London – co-leading partner in The London Cancer Hub – and from supporting partners, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, and Harris Academy Sutton.. It was also supported by the Mayor of London, local politicians and transport stakeholder groups.
The bid proposed a ‘turnback’ rail siding which will allow trains to travel to Belmont before turning and travelling back to London Victoria, doubling the frequency of train services. Belmont station will also be improved with step-free access, better wayfinding signage, and improved lighting and seating areas.
As well as helping to deliver the long-term vision for The London Cancer Hub, the improvements will benefit local residents, businesses and employers including the ICR, thousands of patients and staff at The Royal Marsden, and pupils and staff at Harris Academy Sutton, a STEM-specialist secondary school at The London Cancer Hub.
The London Cancer Hub is set to bring unprecedented investment to Sutton and will have a national and global impact by accelerating life-saving cancer research and innovation – with benefits for patients and the UK economy.
Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:
“I’m delighted the government has awarded us Levelling Up Funding and backed our plan to make Sutton a more connected borough.
“I'd like to thank our partners, The Royal Marsden, the ICR and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust who backed our cross-party bid from the start.
“It’s a step in the right direction for Sutton residents, who for decades have received the least transport investment per person in London.
“Alongside celebrating this brilliant win, we’ll continue to fight for Sutton’s fair share of public transport investment, and I now repeat my call to the Mayor of London to contact me to discuss how he can help to make Sutton a better connected borough and close the transport gap between inner and outer London.”
Professor Kristian Helin, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:
“We’ve long been calling for improvements in transport infrastructure here at The London Cancer Hub in Sutton - and we’re very pleased that, thanks to new funding, the number of trains connecting nearby Belmont station with Central London is now set to double.
“This increase in the number of trains and improvements to Belmont station will help us to realise our long-term vision to make Sutton the home of the world’s leading oncology district specialising in cancer research, treatment and enterprise. It will also have an impact on many of the people who live or work in Belmont, making journeys easier and helping them to reduce the carbon emissions of their travel.”