London Crossrail gets the OK from ASLEF

22 July 2008

Keith Norman, the general secretary of ASLEF, said he was very pleased at today’s announcement that Crossrail was finally ‘out of planning and into production’. ‘London has suffered greatly from not having an east-west rail link,’ he said. ‘It has the potential to ease road congestion, help encourage people onto public transport, improve the environment and provide a boost for business.’


The scheme has, after three years of Parliamentary debate and stalling, finally been approved. The £16bn project will link Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex via Heathrow airport and central London. It involves building a number of new stations and the first trains are expected to start running in 2017.


‘I want to see the building start before we start the celebrations,’ Keith said. ‘Let’s not forget that Crossrail was first approved back in 1990. It was shelved that time – we mustn’t allow that to happen again.’


Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly says Crossrail will ‘generate jobs and economic growth, help revitalise some of our most deprived areas and deliver major improvements for the travelling public.’


‘I hope this signals total government commitment to the future of rail,’ Keith said. ‘Anyone searching for transport that is potentially affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly will find that rail is the only show in town.’

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