Ken says local opposition rules out Crossrail

Mayor Dismisses chances of West London spur being built

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Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport:
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street, SW1P 4DR

Crossrail email:

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The chances of plans to link South West London to the main Crossrail line look increasingly remote after the Mayor said they would never happen. Ken Livingstone made the surprising statement during an interview on BBC Radio London this week.

The Mayor was responding to an e-mail question from a Susan who said she was writing on behalf of the people of 'Stamford Brook and Turnham Green'. She claimed that residents were not being told what the impact of the tunnelling would be and that no mention had been made of compensation for people whose homes Crossrail went underneath.

Ken Livingstone said in reply, "I don't think there ever will be a Crossrail going under your homes. I suspect you should stop worrying about this problem"

The Mayor referred to local opposition which he felt ruled out the chances of the 5.2 km between Paddington and Chiswick ever being built. The tunnel would have linked the new Crossrail tracks at Paddington to the existing Richmond branch.

He said, "My view on this is that if people don't want a train line built, that's fine, we will build it where people do." He suggested that an extension to Crossrail was more likely to be built to Brent and Harrow where 'people are clamouring for it'.

Peter Eversden of the Corridor 6 Action Group, a federation of local residents' groups which is lobbying the authorities on the issue said, "the Stamford Brook problem is about getting the routing of the tunnels changed, to avoid an area that was once a brickfields, where the ground could be unstable."

He pointed out that the Harrow/Watford Crossrail has been left out of the current proposals by Crossrail to the Minister and said, "The Mayor of London is unlikely to try to stop a transport improvement for residents and workers that the Government thought was necessary and could be funded."

The Government is currently considering a report by Adrian Montague on the Crossrail project. There has been much speculation in the Press that the report will come out in favour of a slimmed down Crossrail project.

March 2, 2004