Go-ahead for revolutionary Crossrail transport project

PADDINGTON and Oxford Street look set to be transformed after parliamentary approval for the £16 billion east-west London rail link. Residents have welcomed the Crossrail scheme despite the disruption construction work will cause to their streets. Crossra

PADDINGTON and Oxford Street look set to be transformed after parliamentary approval for the £16 billion east-west London rail link.

Residents have welcomed the Crossrail scheme despite the disruption construction work will cause to their streets.

Crossrail will be the largest addition to London's transport network for more than 50 years.

It will run from Maidenhead to Shenfield passing through Heathrow, Paddington, Bond Street, Farringdon and Canary Wharf.


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The project will improve links to the tube network and mainline railway stations as well as relieving congestion.

John Vannet, from the South East Bayswater Residents' Association (Sebra), said: "We are very pleased Crossrail has royal assent now - we have been working on it for years.

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"It will be a great asset to Bayswater and London - and the whole of the south of England. We are a bit worried about the work but it has got to be done.

"There are safeguards in place and we are going to be consulted at every stage. It will be a difficult time with all the construction but we welcome the new railway.

"We are confident they will keep to their word throughout the whole design and construction process and keep us informed and consulted."

Carl Upsall, from the Marylebone Association, added: "Crossrail is a great idea which helps take the pressure off the tube services.

"I am pleased to see it get the go ahead and we hope they will work with our neighbours and not cause too much disruption."

The new line will provide 24 trains an hour in both directions taking 160,000 commuters in and out of central London.

Crossrail is expected to carry 200million passengers a year and will provide a direct 43-minute link between Canary Wharf and Heathrow. Construction for the link will start in 2010 before its scheduled opening in 2017.

The bulk of the construction will involve digging two 10-mile tunnels deep under central London between Paddington and Stratford stations.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "I am absolutely thrilled that work can now begin on one of the largest projects ever seen in the capital.

"It is a project that is vital to the future prosperity of our city and a project which has the potential to improve the lives of many thousands of Londoners.

"Londoners living in the east will have far greater access to jobs in the centre of London and we expect to see the areas where they are living flourish from private sector investment in housing and development.

"All this and Crossrail even pays for itself.

"That is what I call a cracking deal for the capital."

Passengers will also be pleased to know the fleet of about 600 carriages will all be air-conditioned.

They will be greener, lighter, quicker, able to carry a greater number of passengers and more reliable than existing designs.

Westminster Council's transport boss, Cllr Danny Chalkley, said: "We're delighted that after years of delay, Crossrail is finally going ahead.

"It is a scheme which is vital to the future of London and now needs to be driven forward enthusiastically. The benefits of the central rail link from Heathrow in the west to Stratford, via Paddington, are clear and will help ease traffic congestion in the capital.

"It will also allow us to unlock the development and transport potential of the Tottenham Court Road junction.

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