|Boris Opens Imperial Wharf Station|
Official launch ceremony on forecourt
London Mayor Boris Johnson has officially opened Fulham's newest rail station, Imperial Wharf.
Boris mixed with passengers travelling to to the station on Tuesday morning, before bouncing down the steps for the opening ceremony.
The Mayor described the distinctive £7.8 million structure as "stylish" and added: " The station gives people in this part of London, hitherto poorly served by the rail network, fast connections to the rest of the transport network, and puts Imperial Wharf well and truly on the map.
" It can only serve to encourage inward investment and help bring new businesses and jobs to an area that, although a neighbour to the high-fliers of Chelsea Harbour, has long been in need of the regeneration that is now taking place. "
While the station is currently served by three trains per hour in each direction, London Overground say that from 2011, it intends to run four trains per hour, with extra trains run by Southern.
London Overground's services on the West London Line run between Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction, while trains from Southern also go on to Milton Keynes to the north and East Croydon to the south, with connections to Gatwick Airport and Brighton.
Boris was joined at the microphone by the Leaders of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Kensington and Chelsea Council, which both helped to co-fund the project.
Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: 'Imperial Wharf station will make the lives of thousands of commuters in Fulham and Chelsea much easier. It has taken a while to get here but after a lot of hard work by everyone involved there is light at the end of the tunnel.
" We aim to make Hammersmith and Fulham the Borough of Opportunity and great transport links are vital to achieving this. I am delighted that the north and south of the borough are now linked by Overground for the first time since the Second World War."
Cllr Merrick Cockell, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council said: 'This station will be a real boost to south Chelsea residents.
"'It's taken a while, but thanks to Hammersmith and Fulham and my own Council forging a strong partnership with TfL and the private sector we have been able to improve public transport in an area where residents for many years have been calling for better links."
Tony Carey, Managing Director of St George PLC, the Imperial Wharf developer which built the new station, pointed out that it is opening months earlier than expected. He said: " Working closely with national, regional and local organisations we have delivered the station ahead of schedule demonstrating how public and private sector cooperation can provide significant new public transport infrastructure for the benefit of the local community, residents and businesses in Hammersmith and Fulham and southern Kensington and Chelsea."
The station has actually been in use since Sunday and St George representatives at the ceremony said they have been pleasantly by surprised how many people are already using it, and that people have been travelling to the Sands End area as well as commuting from it.
This is a big week for Imperial Wharf - on Wednesday, September 30 the long awaited 10 acre public park will be officially launched, before opening its gates to the public. At the same time, the riverside development will launch its newest phase, Octavia House, which is just across the road from the new station.
September 29, 2009