Construction of Northfleet rail link will bring hundreds of jobs
PUBLISHED: 13:07 29 June 2011
»Construction of a rail terminus due to handle more than a million tonnes of clay and soil has begun, setting in motion a plan to create about 1,500 jobs on a former cement works site.
Thames Gateway Minister Bob Neill visited last Wednesday to see heavy machinery begin work on a rail line and terminus at the former Blue Circle Cement Works, in Northfleet, with a link to Northfleet rail station.
The line will allow debris thrown up by the multi-billion pound Crossrail project, due to begin early next year, to be transported from West London to the River Thames without clogging the road network. It is a pivotal part of the Thames Gateway regeneration project.
Mr Neill said: “The government is very committed to the Thames Gateway project. Crossrail brings jobs to this site but longer term it is hugely important for the broad international competitiveness of London, something which is vitally important to the economy here in north Kent.”
Crossrail will run from Maidenhead, west of London, to just beyond Liverpool Street, where it will separate to branch both sides of the river, finishing in Abbey Wood on the south side.
Robert Holden, chief executive of Lafarge, the company which owns the site, said: “Since we got planning permission to build the terminus here earlier this year we have moved fast. We saw Northfleet as a perfect place to move the displaced clay and soil from the tunnelling quickly without using the road network.”
Construction of the link at Northfleet is expected to be completed by early next year.
Following construction of CrossRail, expected in 2016, work will begin on an aggregates terminal, alongside more than 500 homes, offices, warehouse and industrial units and a heritage park on the site, expected to create more than 1,500 jobs.
Mr Neill, who is MP for Bromley and Chislehurst, visited the site before moving on to The Base business centre, off Victoria Road, Dartford, where another former industrial area has been transformed for commercial use. It is due to open on Monday.
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