London's Lea Bridge station reopens after 31 years

lea bridge station
Image caption The station will have two trains an hour in each direction

Lea Bridge station in east London, which was closed to passengers in 1985, has reopened.

Passengers will be able to reach either Stratford or Tottenham Hale in five minutes, with northbound services continuing to Bishops Stortford.

The Abellio Greater Anglia services will run approximately every half-hour.

"Lea Bridge station will really help open Leyton up for growth," said Chris Robbins, the leader of Waltham Forest council.

He added the station would "establish our little corner of London as a real contender as a place to do business, as well as somewhere to buy a home and raise a young family".

"Great first trip from Lea Bridge station this morning!" tweeted Russell Whiting. "15 mins off the commute."

Image caption Local MP Stella Creasy cuts a train-shaped cake to celebrate

The BBC's London transport correspondent Tom Edwards said local people had fought a "long battle" to have Lea Bridge reopened.

The station first opened in 1840, and in the first half of the 20th Century it was possible to travel to travel on a direct train as far as North Woolwich, Chingford and Hertford.

But it fell into disrepair in the 1970s and 1980s when services were cut and British Rail closed it in July 1985.

Image copyright Pump House Museum
Image caption Lea Bridge station in the 1980s

Fourteen years ago the council commissioned a feasibility study, but the decision to reopen it was only taken in 2013.

By 2031 the station is expected to serve more than 350,000 passengers a year.

The work was funded by Waltham Forest Council, an Olympic redevelopment grant and the Department of Transport's New Stations Fund.

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