Political support for the proposed Crossrail station in North Kensington is growing, but no deadline has been set for an official decision about whether it will be built.
Labour MP for Westminster North and shadow work and pensions minister Karen Buck gave her backing to the Kensal Crossrail scheme which includes the station.
The proposal has been put forward by the Conservative-led Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
“The Kensal and Harrow Road area needs better transport, it needs new affordable homes, new businesses and it needs new community facilities too,” said Buck.
Kensal Crossrail will help tackle all those deficiencies so I will be speaking up for this scheme at every opportunity.”
Hopes to spark further regeneration of area
Buck is the latest politician to support the scheme as the Department for Transport and Transport for London continue to discuss the project’s viability although there is no timetable for a decision.
“The obvious answer is that we should go ahead with this station and I am very pleased that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is willing to pay for it”
London mayor Boris Johnson
The council has offered to underwrite the £33M capital cost of building the station and is hopeful that the scheme could spark wider regeneration at a 27ha former gasworks site it has earmarked for development.
The costs for the Crossrail scheme are under tight constraints − the project found £1.4bn in savings following last October’s Comprehensive Spending Review. It is now set to cost £14.5bn although Transport for London earlier this month said that the “cost envelope” was actually £14.8bn.
Support from mayor
London mayor Boris Johnson also repeated his support for the scheme at a City Hall question and answer session earlier this month. “The obvious answer is that we should go ahead with this station and I am very pleased that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is willing to pay for it,” he said.
The mayor also restated his three criteria for the project. He said that it would only go ahead if it could be proved that construction would cause no disruption to train services on the Great Western Mainline or ongoing work on Crossrail. The project must also incur no extra cost to the taxpayer.
Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said in February that investigations into the potential for a station at Kensal Green in west London were still ongoing and that a decision would be made within months (NCE 10 February).