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Government axes 'value for money' Crossrail station

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FORMER LOCAL government minister Nick Raynsford this week slammed the government for vetoing MPs' calls for a Crossrail station to be built at Woolwich in south London.

The government last week rejected calls from the Commons Crossrail Bill select committee to build the station, which were set out in a report on the project in July (NCE 3 August).

The select committee said the Woolwich station would provide 'exceptional value for money'. But the government has dropped it on cost grounds, saying it would add £200M to the project.

'It has the appearance of an entirely arbitrary decision, ' said Raynsford.

'In my view, it is unprecedented for the government to take a decision in this way, and I believe there will be repercussions. I believe the committee is not at all amused, and I do not believe this to be the end of the story, ' he said.

At £10bn Crossrail will link central London with Heathrow and Maidenhead in the west and Shen eld and Abbey Wood in the east. The government accepted the bulk of the remaining recommendations.

These included providing disabled access at Romford, replacing a footbridge at Westbourne Terrace and protecting two churches in Spital elds from noise and tunnelling vibration.

Assistance will also be given to people subject to compulsory purchase orders and more work will be done to assess the impact of the work on freight transport.

A Crossrail spokesman would not be drawn on whether the announcement meant the end of the Woolwich station.

'It is a ministerial decision.

We did some preliminary work but it is the government's decision at the end of the day.'

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