Lukewarm welcome to Crossrail stations being saved
PUBLISHED: 13:10 30 September 2010
bosses at the £16 billion Crossrail project will hike fares after they announced that all stations on the 72-mile route will go ahead despite dumbing down the plan, a councillor fears.
Thamesmead East Labour councillor Sandra Bauer is concerned commuters will have to bear the brunt of government cuts to the project, linking Abbey Wood and Woolwich in the east, which is due to be finished in 2017.
A lukewarm reception met the announcement on Monday that the Crossrail stations in Abbey Wood and Woolwich will go ahead. despite speculation they could be axed after the coalition government sought to make cuts to the project.
Ms Bauer said: “My worry is that we won’t know for sure how secure Crossrail is until the results of the spending review are published on October 20.
“Further cuts could have an impact on fares subsidies fares increases and transport jobs. The Crossrail station in Abbey Wood is very important to residents in my ward, I am delighted that it will now go ahead. We hope that it will open up greater employment opportunities for our residents.”
To drive down costs stations are being redesigned, including the ones at Canary Wharf and Whitechapel, no new trains are being designed, and a major part of the construction work will reuse disused rail infrastructure including the Connaught Tunnel on the former North London Line branch to North Woolwich.
Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce said: “It looks like positive news but we have to look at the details.
“From what I know, it seems that they are saving money by using old rolling stock which could mean that the trains will not travel as fast.The station at Abbey Wood means people can work and do business across London.
“At the moment lots of people in Thamesmead go to London by bus which takes ages. The only options are to get a train to Gravesend or to London or get the bus to Woolwich to use the DLR. Crossrail means that all the jobs across London will be available.”
The latest business case shows the project would boost the British economy by up to £42 billion, up from the previous estimate of £36 billion.
Leader of Greenwich council Chris Roberts said: “Whilst we remain cautious, this latest announcement is a step in the right direction for Greenwich residents.
“The Southern spur - as the Woolwich and Abbey Wood section is known - will be the busiest and best value section of the line.
“It is essential that the line is built in full and without any phasing.”