EXASPERATED commuters have launched an online petition in their fight to get a railway line reopened.
Deemed financially unviable, the Epping to Ongar branch of London Underground's Central Line closed in 1994 after serving the people of Ongar for nearly 40 years.
But now more than 100 people have already signed a petition calling for its reopening.
Their action comes as stations at Epping and Theydon Bois become too busy to handle the growth of surrounding towns and villages, and commuters struggle with a lack of public transport in the Ongar area.
Campaigners also say there are inadequate parking facilities at existing stations.
John Glover, chair of the Ongar Railway Preservation Society, said: “I have already signed the petition and I would like to see everyone else sign up.
“All it needs is the political will for it to happen. Unfortunately, once authority has gone in one direction it is hard to make them change their mind.
“But I really think the way forward is to reinstate the railway. We need to move past talking and into action.”
Ongar MP Eric Pickles also supports the petition and has been in contact with London Underground following complaints from residents about inadequate parking at Theydon Bois station.
He said: “Having the line reinstated is definitely feasible. All the things we said at the time the railway was closing, about Ongar expanding, have proven to be the case.
“I would certainly be very supportive of this and it would be of great help in easing congestion.
“However, I wouldn't want to mislead people and I do think the possibility is remote.
“Ongar is considerably outside London and it would depend on whether the mayor and Transport for London were willing to spend the money.”
A Transport for London spokesman said: “The Epping to Ongar branch closed in 1994 and was sold to the Epping Ongar Railway in 1996.
“At the time of its closure very few people were using that section of the line, less than a 100 people a day. London Underground has no plans to reopen the Epping to Ongar extension.
“Since its closure the Central Line has been modernised including automatic signalling which means that it would be very difficult and costly to re-open beyond Epping.”
To view the petition visit http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/ongar-tube-back/