INCREASED passenger numbers during the 2012 Olympics could lead to the closure of Leyton station.

Fears about massive disruption for commuters while the Games are taking place were raised at last week's meeting of the Waltham Forest transport liaison consultative group.

Local environmental campaigner Laurence Wortley said he had been told of plans to shut the station for the Olympics by Jeff Ellis, general manager of the Central Line.

The pair met at an event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Leyton to Loughton railway.

Mr Wortley told the meeting: "He told me he was going to close down Leyton Station for the Olympics.

"It is a terrible precedent even if he is only thinking about it. If they are closing it for the Olympics, they will close it for other things.

"The station is extremely crowded at rush hour. How are all those people going to go to and from work if they close the station?"

Later he said: "I was just knocked out when he told me. The word is gobsmacked'."

The claims have been flatly refuted by a spokeswoman for London Underground, who said: "It is not true. There are no plans to close Leyton station for the Olympics."

Olympic Delivery Aut-hority, which will be publishing its transport plan for 2012 later this month, also said there were no plans to close the station.

However, a spokeswoman for Waltham Forest Council said: "London Underground has not told us that the station will be closed - just that if it becomes too overcrowded during the 2012 Games, it may have to be closed for safety reasons.

"London Underground says that this action applies to any station if there is a big event going on nearby and the number of people becomes too large to be accommodated safely."

Mr Wortley pointed out that stations around Notting Hill are closed for safety reasons during the annual carnival and warned that Leyton station, one of the closest to the main Olympic Stadium, is already overcrowded. He said the station was sure to be overloaded by the fortnight-long Olympics, and added that one possible solution would be to re-open the station's rear entrance.