Keep our Crossrail station pleads MP

PUBLISHED: 11:44 17 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:02 25 August 2010

AN MP has pleaded with the government not to axe a planned Crossrail station claiming it will be vital for the economy.

AN MP has pleaded with the government not to axe a planned Crossrail station claiming it will be vital for the economy.

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce made her maiden speech in the House of Commons last Thursday at a poverty debate when she asked the coalition government not to make any cuts to the £16 billion Crossrail project.

This comes after Mayor of London Boris Johnson revealed last month that the Abbey Wood and Maidenhead branches of the network may be threatened, but that he would launch a "Stalingrad defence" of the project.

In the House Ms Pearce said: "I am pleased that the London Mayor and I seem to agree on something, which is that the Abbey Wood line of Crossrail must go ahead.

"People living in Thamesmead can see the bright lights of the city three miles across the river, but to get there they must travel by foot, by bus, by train and by the Docklands Light Railway, and it takes over an hour, the same amount of time it takes the business traveller from Paris or Antwerp to get to City airport, flying close over the heads of Thamesmead residents.

"This is the 'Big Society' that is meant to re-localise the economy, re-capitalise the poor and re-democratise power. If the big society is to mean anything other than a slogan, the government need vision and a vision of a cross-capital rail link is vital not only to the economy of London, but to that of the UK as a whole."

On Monday the Department of Transport could still not confirm to the Times that no cuts would be made to the project, which would connect Abbey Wood to west of London.

A spokesperson for the department said: "No decisions have been taken to change the scope of the Crossrail project. However, we need to ensure that every pound invested in the project is well spent and that the scheme remains affordable.

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