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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 16:23 GMT
London: Linking East to West
Zia Trench
Zia Trench
Politics Show London

Crossrail logo
Will Crossrail be built?

Crossrail - a high-speed link from East to West London - is the largest rail project being developed in the world.

The core links Heathrow, the City and Canary Wharf.

The actual line goes all the way from Maidenhead to Shenfield.

And it is costing the taxpayer around 38m a year, and that is just for planning ... if it is ever actually built, it will take until 2015 and cost upwards of 15bn.

It is easy to see why other cities claim, it is grossly unfair, that London is getting this, when they have transport needs of their own.

London's justification for Crossrail is that we have the finance district and Heathrow airport. Londoners need good links to where they live and work.

Without the money the City brings in, UK's economy as a whole would suffer.

But there are many other arguments; Crossrail would take some strain off other over-burdened and antiquated transport systems.

It is also of major importance to plans to regenerate the East-Thames Gateway which needs good links with London, if it is going to become a thriving community, and not a segregated, ghetto-land.

In January 2006, Crossrail got cross-party backing in the Commons.

It is now in committee stage, where various groups and individuals will put their case for or against it.

Then it goes back to the Commons. The earliest work would start, is 2008.

But there is no guarantee that Crossrail will ever be built; not only is there no answer to how they are going to get the cash, but if you go East, there is fierce opposition.

Crossrail has just put in new plans, that propose less disruption in the East end.

It says it has come up with plans that mean they will not use the shaft there to sink boring machines.

But residents are cynical - they feel once there is permission for a 'shaft', how can they be certain it won't be used for something else?

The Politics Show London

Join the Politics Show on BBC One on Sunday 02 April 2006 at 12.00pm with Tim Donovan.

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SEE ALSO:
Government backs 10bn Crossrail
20 Jul 04 |  London
London
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