Calls for a Crossrail connection to Kent have been backed by the boss of High Speed 1 (HS1).
HS1 chief executive Dyan Crowther said the company, which owns Ebbsfleet International station in North Kent, would back the extension to connect the Elizabeth Line with Eurostar and Southeastern services.
Responding to questions at the New Civil Engineer UK Transport conference, Crowther said that the high speed line was “very interested” in the proposed Crossrail extension.
“Of course we are very interested and would be very supportive of a Crossrail connection at Ebbsfleet,” she confirmed.
Proposals for a £1.5bn link from Abbey Wood in south-east London to Ebbsfleet in north Kent were put forward by the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission which is chaired by John Armitt.
Armitt, who is also National Infrastructure Commission chairman, called on the government to provide £20M for project development and said the scheme could be delivered by 2029.
The government will respond to the report, including any formal endorsement of its recommendations, within six months.
The government has already said it is warm to the idea. Earlier this year transport minister Jo Johnson told MPs that the government would give the extension “the fullest possible consideration” when further details emerge. Transport for London is looking in detail at the proposal and is preparing a Strategic Outline Business Case for submission to the Department for Transport this summer.
Johnson told MPs that there had been considerable change in South East London and North Kent since the decision to not extend Crossrail beyond Abbey Wood was finalised in the 2008 Crossrail Act. In light of this said government would take a fresh look at the case for extending to Ebbsfleet.
The extension is anticipated to take up to 10 years to design and build but would provide a valuable connection between Ebbsfleet’s High Speed 1 station and Canary Wharf.
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