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Livingstone confirms Crossrail's eastern extension

LONDON MAYOR Ken Livingstone has confirmed that London's Crossrail link between Paddington and Liverpool Street stations will be extended to the east with tunnels to Stratford and Canary Wharf (GE news December 2001).

Livingstone said there were plans to put enabling legislation for the project to Parliament at the end of 2003.

'We've got to sort out the route [for the new extension] and agree on financing, ' he said.

He was unconcerned about procuring the project with private finance but hinted that security could come from his £4.8bn annual budget.'Whether it is a privately financed or design and build project, the City is aching to build it, ' he said.

Crossrail was officially launched by Cross London Rail Links (CLRL), the joint venture set up by the Strategic Rail Authority and Livingstone's transport department Transport for London last month.

At the launch Livingstone confirmed that the project would also link into west London commuter lines and on to to Heathrow Airport.

Adding the Canary Wharf and Stratford tunnels will increase the cost of the project from £4.55bn to £6.9bn according to a report by consultant Halcrow for the City of London Corporation.

Halcrow voiced concern that the cost 'would make the project significantly less likely to be regarded as affordable by Her Majesty's Government' CLRL said it planned to complete Crossrail by 2012. It also announced that it was finalising the selection of the route of the Chelsea to Hackney Line, now dubbed Crossrail 2, which is now expected to come into service by 2014.

www. crossrail. co. uk

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