Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Thursday, 3 June 2010 18:31 UK

Raynsford calls for assurances on Crossrail funding

On 3 June 2010, Labour MP Nick Raynsford led a debate on Crossrail - a £16bn project to link the east and west of London by rail.

The 72-mile route will run from Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex, passing the West End and Canary Wharf. It also includes a link to Heathrow airport.

Described the project as an "economic imperative" for the UK, he called on the new government to state publicly its support for Crossrail and continue its funding of the project.

Ministers had demonstrated "less than wholehearted support" for the project in the run up to the election, he said.

But he argued that "it would be a total tragedy" if the project were jeopardised by a lack of funding.

Transport minister Theresa Villiers replied that "the new secretary of state had made it clear" that the government was "committed" to the project.

She added that "real progress" was already being made on the project, noting that "there are already 2,000 people" employed by the scheme.

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