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MPs and leaders meet in Parliament to discuss Crossrail to Ebbsfleet

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 March 2018

The Crossrail trains will travel from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via new twin tunnels under central London. Picture: TFL/PA Wire

The Crossrail trains will travel from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via new twin tunnels under central London. Picture: TFL/PA Wire

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MPs and council leaders met in Parliament last week (March 21) to continue the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet (C2E) campaign, and mark the submission of the programme.

The campaign seeks to extend Crossrail 1 (the Elizabeth line) to Ebbsfleet International along the route of the existing North Kent Line, which would create a major new interchange with London.

The programme was submitted to the Thames Estuary Growth Commission, which considers options for enhancing opportunities in the Thames Estuary.

The meeting in Parliament marked a key step towards securing government support for the proposed extension, which is expected to be delivered during the 2020s.

The benefits of the extension were addressed, such as the way in which it would support large-scale regeneration and new housing in the South East and North Kent, as well as generating much needed new rail capacity for key journeys.

C2E will better connect Kent and South East London to central London and Heathrow, and link the high speed HS1 and HS2 services.

The commission, led by Sir John Armitt, will report in May.

If it endorses C2E as a critical infrastructure investment, leaders and MPs will be seeking government support to enable the extension to reach the next phase of development, involving a full business case and detailed engineering design.

On behalf on the MPs present, Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, said: “C2E will deliver transformative growth to part of South East London, Bexley and Kent.

“It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle the poor connections to London and Kent that have held the area back for so long – evidenced by the fact that Bexley is one of the few boroughs without metro style tube or train services.”

Teresa O’Neill OBE said: “With London’s population growing, and the need for new housing a national priority, it is vital that we finish the job on Crossrail 1 and ensure that it is extended from Abbey Wood, through Dartford and on to connect to HS1 at Ebbsfleet.”

Paul Carter CBE said: “Kent must not be left off the Crossrail network - C2E will be transformative.”

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