James Brokenshire has welcomed progress on Crossrail during a visit to the Bond Street station site in Central London. Upon completion in December 2018, the Elizabeth Line will see trains run from Reading in the West to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the East, increasing capacity into London and cutting journey times.
During the visit James saw the new platforms at Bond Street, each of which can accommodate large trains with almost double the capacity of a standard tube train. When fully operational, stations on the central section of the line will see 24 trains an hour, with journey times from Abbey Wood in Bexley to Liverpool Street in the City estimated to be 14 minutes.
The project has also seen skills and materials drawn in from across the UK. Several businesses from Bexley continue to play their role in delivering the project and to date 26 apprentices and 75 previously unemployed individuals from Bexley are working on the construction of the line.
In addition to the route currently under construction, Bexley Council has submitted plans to see the southern route in the East extended out to Gravesend via Erith, Slade Green and Dartford. This would bring increased benefits to Bexley and provide residents with even greater connectivity. In a letter to the Chancellor, James has highlighted his support for these plans in order to support increased development in the South East, subject to funding.
Commenting during the site visit, James said:
“Today’s visit has been useful in demonstrating the sheer scale of the Crossrail project, both in terms of its sheer size and the sizeable and positive impacts it is expected to have on communities in London and across the South East.”
“When it opens the new Elizabeth Line will add an important new option for those travelling from Bexley into Central London and beyond and I am keen to work with the Crossrail team, the Government and Bexley Council in order to ensure that Crossrail delivers the maximum amount of benefits possible.”