Elizabeth line for Ebbsfleet?

A key step to extending the upcoming east-to-west running Elizabeth Line (formerly Crossrail) to north Kent took a key step towards securing government support in March, as MPs and council leaders met in parliament to mark the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet (C2E) programme's submission to the Thames Estuary Growth Commission.

Image courtesy of Transport for London

They discussed the potential benefits of the proposed extension on 21 March, which will support large-scale regeneration and new housing in south-east London and Ebbsfleet, as well as generating more rail capacity for commuter journeys, such as to Canary Wharf.

The Thames Estuary Commission, led by Sir John Armitt, will report on the proposal's viability in May. If it endorses C2E as a critical infrastructure investment, leaders and MPs will seek government support to enable the extension to reach the next phase of development, involving a business assessment and detailed engineering design.

Teresa Pearce MP said: "C2E will deliver transformative growth to part of south-east London, Bexley and Kent. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle the poor connections to London and Kent that have held the area back for so long – evidenced by the fact that Bexley is one of the few boroughs without metro-style tube or train services.

“As MPs, we stand four-square with borough leaders in our desire to see this critical piece of infrastructure delivered for the area.”

Now nearing completion, the Elizabeth line will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west of London, through 42km of new tunnels under the city to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, with all services expected to begin operating by late 2018.