London

MPs call for disused Waterloo station to be reopened

Six MPs have called for the five former Eurostar platforms at Waterloo station in south London to be reopened.

A Commons motion signed by the Liberal Democrat MPs said mothballing the platforms has cost the taxpayer £4m since the station closed in 2007.

Theatre productions and film companies have used the venue, but that generated £61,852, the motion backed by Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes said.

The station closed in 2007 after Eurostar services moved to St Pancras.

The motion led by Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, was backed by MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey Simon Hughes; Martin Horwood, MP for Cheltenham; Manchester Withington MP John Leech, MP for Wells Tessa Munt and Duncan Hames, MP for Chippenham.

'Resolve overcrowding'

The MPs said in the motion : "The total cost of keeping the five disused ex-Eurostar platforms at Waterloo International station closed so far has been revealed as exceeding more than £4m of taxpayers' money.

"Numerous filming and other events at the empty platforms, such as the recent Railway Children production, have generated just a mere £61,852 over the same period," it added.

The MPs asked the government to "ensure these huge platforms are put back into domestic use as quickly as possible" to help commuters who "face overcrowding on platforms and trains despite being confronted with five empty train platforms".

Earlier Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said: "The government is committed to bringing the former international platforms at Waterloo into domestic use and therefore it is vital that the facility is kept safe, secure and serviceable."

The Commons motion comes after the Lib Dem group on the London Assembly gathered the information about the cost of maintaining the stations via a freedom of information request.

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