Department for Transport
Government delivers on pledge to introduce Crossrail bill
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Government delivers on pledge to introduce Crossrail bill
type Press release
Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, reaffirmed the Government's commitment to Crossrail by introducing a Hybrid Bill for the project today.
Alistair Darling said:
"The case for Crossrail is clear and the Government has long said that it is committed to the scheme. Last July, when I gave the go ahead for Crossrail, I said that we would be introducing a Bill for the project, and today sees that vital next stage."
The 10 billion Crossrail scheme linking Maidenhead in the West with Shenfield in the East and Abbey Wood in the South East will:
* bring in nearly twice as many benefits to the UK as it costs to build the project;
* support the development of London as a world city and its role as the financial centre of Europe and the UK;
* support the economic growth of London and its regeneration areas by tackling congestion and help to cope with future transport pressures on the existing network; and
* improve rail access to and within London.
Alistair Darling added:
"Crossrail will significantly improve travel into and across the centre of the capital. It will bring huge benefits to the British economy as a whole and be a catalyst for regeneration in the east of London.
"Introducing a Bill for the project after years of uncertainty represents a major step forward. It is also another example of the Government taking decisions now, not just for today but for generations to come. It will anticipate the pressures on our transport system in 10 or 20 years."
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, said:
"I congratulate the Government on today's Crossrail announcement. This is a clear demonstration of their commitment to the project taking it a vital step forward.
Crossrail is the capital's most important transport development for 40 years and would create the backbone of a 21st century transport system giving London essential additional capacity, underpinning hundreds of thousands of jobs in London's financial district and sustaining the capital's position as the world's leading international financial centre.
"We are continuing to work with the Government to agree a funding package based on a combination of Government grant, additional fare revenues arising from the scheme, and a contribution from London businesses."
Adrian Montague, Chairman of Cross London Rail Links, said:
"We look forward to the progress of the Bill through Parliament. This is an exciting time for London and the South East as these proposals for a major transport boost to the capital move closer to obtaining permission to go ahead."
A comprehensive Environmental Statement (ES) has been prepared for Crossrail, and copies deposited with the Bill. The ES runs to nine volumes, with many supporting specialist reports. A non-technical summary is also available. Comments on the ES are welcomed.
Safeguarding directions for the route contained in the Bill were also issued today. These not only protect the route, but allow affected property-owners access to compensation via the statutory blight provisions. A policy on discretionary purchase in cases of hardship has been in effect since earlier this month.
Alistair Darling also announced, following a public consultation, that the route from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet would be safeguarded and that he is also now going to consult on the possibility of safeguarding the route to Reading in the west.
Notes to Editors
1. A copy of the Bill and accompanying Explanatory Notes can be found on the UK Parliament's website at www.parliament.uk. A copy of the Plans and Sections, Environmental Statement (ES) and ES Non-Technical Summary are available on the Department for Transport's website at www.dft.gov.uk and on Cross London Rail Links' (CLRL) website at www.crossrail.co.uk. CLRL is a Cross London Rail Links Ltd is a 50/50 joint venture company owned by Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport. Anyone wishing to know more about the project and the Bill can also contact CLRL's 24-hour telephone helpline on 0845 602 3813.
2. The Bill contains six main elements relating to:
* the power to construct and maintain works necessary to deliver Crossrail. These powers will be vested in a "nominated undertaker" (and, in the absence of a nominated undertaker, in the Secretary of State) and the Bill gives the Secretary of State the ability to nominate that undertaker. This will provide the Secretary of State important flexibility in determining how the project can be implemented most effectively and efficiently;
* the acquisition of land and interests in land necessary for those works. The powers of compulsory purchase sought in the Bill are vested in the Secretary of State but could also be transferred to the Greater London Authority or Transport for London, again to provide flexibility in implementation. The compulsory purchase powers in the Bill would expire five years after Royal Assent, though they could be extended;
* the establishment of a planning and heritage regime for the works. The former seeks to give local planning authorities and the various statutory bodies an appropriate degree of control over the planning aspects of the project (and will be augmented by other arrangements, such as a Planning Memorandum and a Construction Code of Practice, designed to sit alongside the legislative provisions). These provisions have been the subject of consultation with the bodies affected, and closely follow those established for the CTRL, which have generally worked well. Heritage issues will also be the subject of separate agreements with English Heritage and the local authorities;
* the application of existing railway and other miscellaneous legislation to Crossrail. Chief amongst these are the provisions which seek to establish the railways regulatory regime which will apply to Crossrail and its interface with the existing network;
* the transfer by transfer scheme of property, rights and liabilities from CLRL or the Secretary of State, or their wholly-owned subsidiaries, or, with their consent, the GLA, TfL, the London Development Agency or any of their subsidiaries, that may be necessary to ensure that the nominated undertaker is capable of delivering the project; and
* the devolution of control of the Crossrail project to the Greater London Authority or Transport for London (or a combination of the two).
3. The Crossrail Bill is a Hybrid Bill. A Hybrid Bill is a Public Bill promoted by the Government which is treated like a Private Bill for part of its passage through Parliament, in addition to being considered in the same way as any other Public Bill. This means that those who are especially and directly affected by the Bill may "petition" against it (a petition is a written description of the particular concerns and how these might be alleviated). Petitioners (or their representatives) may have the opportunity to present their arguments to Select Committee hearings in one or both Houses. The House of Commons Information Office Factsheet on Hybrid Bills (L5) can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/l05.pdf and the House of Commons guidance "How to Petition against a Hybrid Bill in the House of Commons" can be found at
4. The Crossrail route included in the Bill has four main elements:
* a new central tunnelled section with new sub-surface stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Isle of Dogs. Major construction works will be necessary at each station site, and at intermediate ventilation and emergency intervention shafts; and
* three outlying sections of the scheme - western, north eastern and south eastern. These will largely run on existing track, or on land currently in railway use, and make use of modified existing stations:
* the western section will run along the existing Great Western Main Line between Maidenhead and the entrance to the central tunnel at Royal Oak. A new junction will be constructed to allow for the increased number of trains accessing Heathrow from the Great Western Main Line;
* the north eastern section will run on new track from the tunnel exit at Pudding Mill Lane, then on the Great Eastern Main Line between Stratford and Shenfield; and
* the south eastern section will join what is currently the North London Line near Custom House, running through the existing Connaught Tunnel beneath the Royal Docks. A new Crossrail tunnel will then take the line to Plumstead where it will join the North Kent Line to Abbey Wood.
5. A full Environmental Statement (ES) has been prepared for Crossrail, and copies deposited with the Bill. The ES runs to nine volumes, with many supporting specialist reports. There is also a Non-Technical Summary (NTS), of just over 55 pages, which sets out in non-technical language the main findings of the ES. Comments on the ES should be sent to the Consultation Manager, Major Projects Division 3, Zone 2/08, 76 Marsham Street, London, SWIP 4DR (e-mail: email@example.com).
6. It is envisaged that implementation of the project may in due course be handed to the GLA (the Mayor of London) or Transport for London if appropriate risk transfer can be agreed. The Department is working closely with the Mayor and Transport for London on development of the project.
7. CLRL price the scheme contained in the Bill at 10.292 billion in Q1 2002 prices. There will need to be a substantial contribution to the cost of the project from those who benefit from it. The Treasury and Department for Transport with TfL are examining options and will consult London interests in the Summer. The Government will bring forward funding proposals during the passage of the Bill.
8. Maps of the Crossrail route are available on the DfT Website.
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk
Railhub Archive ::: 2005-02-22 DfT-001