The announcement by the Prime Minster to give Crossrail the go-ahead has been warmly welcomed in Newham.
Newham Council, together with major businesses, London City Airport and ExCeL, believe that the £16 billion funding deal will provide enormous economic benefits to the borough.
Crossrail will serve five stations in Newham: Custom House, Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate and Manor Park. The line will provide a huge boost to the regeneration that is taking place in Canning Town, Custom House, Silvertown Quays and Stratford City.
Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales said: “This is really good news for Newham. Crossrail will mean not just quicker and less crowded journeys for residents to central London, it will also vastly improve accessibility to the borough's key development sites in Stratford and the Royal Docks, stimulating greater investment and creating thousands of additional jobs and homes.”
Executive adviser on regeneration, Councillor Conor McAuley said: “This will especially benefit the Royal Docks area, which is somewhat remote from elsewhere in the borough. With Crossrail serving Custom House, typical journey times from there to central London will be reduced by up to 65 per cent, so the journey to Paddington would fall from almost an hour to just 18 minutes. Having a station located in Custom House would also complement the regeneration that is taking place there.
“Crossrail can build on the momentum of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and help to complete the transformation of Newham into a thriving place, attractive to businesses and where people will choose to live and work.”
Richard Gooding OBE, Chief Executive of London City Airport said: “We are delighted with the announcement about this major expansion of surface access infrastructure in London generally and particularly in Newham with the Crossrail project. The impact on jobs is dramatic, and with its own station at Custom House (just 400m from the airport) the Royal Docks faces a dynamic future with economic and social prosperity for both businesses and local communities.”
Jamie Buchan, Chief Executive, ExCeL London: “This is fantastic news for London and Newham. Crossrail will bring much needed transport infrastructure and capacity to London and in doing so, provide an affordable railway with a high-frequency, convenient and accessible train service. For Newham and the Thames Gateway, Crossrail will provide easier access to the areas of high jobs growth in London and increased economic benefit. With a station at Custom House for ExCeL, residents will see journey times to Central London and Heathrow halved. It is also great news for businesses in Newham as the new service will increase London's competitiveness for international business and maintain our reputation as a World Class Capital City.”
Crossrail is expected to bring an additional one and a half million people to within 60 minutes of London's key business areas and carry 200 million passengers a year.
Work on the £16 billion project is expected to begin in 2010 and the first trains are due to run in 2017. The Parliamentary Bill to secure the necessary powers to begin construction of the link is expected to get Royal Assent in Summer 2008.
Photo L-R: Jamie Buchan, Chief Executive of ExCel London, Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, Richard Gooding OBE, Chief Executive of London City Airport, Councillor Conor McAuley
1. Newham campaigned successfully in 2002 for the preferred Crossrail route after Canary Wharf to go through the Royal Docks before crossing the River Thames.
2. A study for the Newham Council and the London Development Agency “Creating Prosperity in London and the Thames Gateway – Crossrail Royals Impact Assessment”, and another for the Royal Docks Crossrail Group “Crossrail 1 Eastern Extension Impact Assessment” both concluded that because of the significant travel time savings and much improved accessibility to the Royal Docks area, the project would generate substantial development and economic benefits. It was estimated that an additional 10,000 to 20,000 jobs could be generated and an increase in housing units of between 2,800 to 9,540.