IT’S been years in the planning, has suffered endless delays and spats over funding but a new station for New Cross is finally back on track.

Last week, a Lewisham Council planning committee approved in principle the Surrey Canal Road development and a commitment by developer Renewal to plug a funding gap for a station there.

The plans still need to be signed off by the Mayor of London, but if Boris Johnson says yes, the station’s finances look secure.

Located at a public transport interchange for buses and taxis, it will form part of the East London Line with four trains per hour on the spur connecting Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction.

News of the funding has been celebrated by politicians and rail users, many of whom signed a petition totaling nearly 6,000 names for the station – which is expected to be used by 1.3 million people a year.

Lewisham Deptford MP Joan Ruddock, who had backed the campaign, said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“It’s a great tribute to the commitment of Renewal to the area that they’re prepared to step in.”

She said: “This is really vital to our transport needs.

“Increasingly people are finding that road congestion is a major problem. Public transport is absolutely essential.”

Michael Abrahams from the Forest Hill society has recently seen his own area boosted by being added to the East London Line.

He said: “What was needed is massive regeneration there so it’s very good to hear that the developers are going to be putting money into the building of it.

“The line is being built and I understand space has been left for the station, so actually building it shouldn’t be difficult.”

He added: “The main benefit we had is very regular services through Forest Hill and the surrounding areas. It does make a difference to how people perceive the area.

“The same will be true on the East London Line phase 2.”

Lewisham's Deputy Mayor Councillor Alan Smith said: "I welcome the investment in this area and I'm particularly glad that we are going to get a new station at Surrey Canal Road.

“The government has reneged on a plan to build a station so we are pleased that Renewal have stepped in and will work with the council to make it a reality."

Train delays

2004 Plans for East London Line phase 2 extension include a new station – Surrey Canal Road.

January 2009 Mayor of London asked to stump up cash for the station.

April 2009 Campaign and petition launched to get it built.

November 2009Transport for London says it expects to have a funding agreement by the end of the year.

January 2010 Lewisham Council agrees to pay £3m towards the station, provided the government pays the other £7m.

June 2010 Boris Johnson admits forgetting to ask the Department for Transport about funding.

Sept 2010 Department for Transport announces it will not provide the money due to “funding constraints”. Planning for station goes ahead anyway.

October 2011 Renewal agrees to provide the rest of the necessary funds.