Borough will be bypassed by new Crossrail

PUBLISHED: 11:21 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:04 25 August 2010

UNDERGROUND services are to stretch to new depths of south-east London after Crossrail finally got the go ahead.

UNDERGROUND services are to stretch to new depths of south-east London after Crossrail finally got the go ahead.

The Crossrail Bill received Royal Assent last Tuesday, allowing work on a £16 billion train line stretching from Abbey Wood and Woolwich to Heathrow and Maidenhead to start in 2010.

But whilst the route is due visit 18 stations east of Liverpool Street when completed in 2017, just two of those will be in south east London.

The line will not go through Bexley but councillors claim the line should stretch through their borough to Ebbsfleet, to connect it to the Eurostar station.

Peter Craske, Bexley councillor for transport, is happy that the project is going ahead, but had told the Times that if it's going to be built, "you should do it properly". He said: "We will be continuing to work hard to get an extension from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet. This would gain the much needed transport links for the people and businesses of Bexley."

In December Bexley council asked a House of Lords select committee to extend the route using the existing north Kent Line, under the Transport and Works Act 1992. The committee would not include the extension in the Crossrail Act as it was "not a project of national significance," but said it might happen in the future. Crossrail is expected to see trains running from Abbey Wood into London via the Isle of Dogs, before zigzagging under central London to Ealing and on to Maidstone or Heathrow.

Getting to the West End from Woolwich is expected to take 22 minutes as overland-sized trains will travel up to 100 mph.

The Crossrail Act has enjoyed support from the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport, as well as rail companies and workers' unions.

But it means Bexley and Greenwich will see the compulsory purchase of three dwellings, 45 garages, seven industrial units, and a strip of gardens along Abbey Grove.

A Crossrail spokesperson said: "The owners of these parcels of land have been consulted and kept informed about the proposals throughout the parliamentary process."

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