Fresh call to bring Crossrail into Gravesham from mayor of London Sadiq Khan, but will it come to Gravesend?
PUBLISHED: 16:11 26 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:11 26 June 2017
Original plans for the now-dubbed Elizabeth Line saw it stretch to Gravesend station
Fresh proposals from the mayor of London could see Crossrail extended into Gravesham in the coming years, but not as far as originally planned.
When the original route was mapped out, Crossrail, now called the Elizabeth Line, was expected to finish at Gravesend, but development has seen the route cut short to Abbey Wood.
Last week Sadiq Khan made a fresh push to have the line extended through Bexley into Gravesham, terminating in Northfleet.
Council leader David Turner has backed the proposal, saying: “There is a great opportunity here for us to inject major enhancement into the Northfleet Station area.
“Although we’d be keen for the Elizabeth Line extension to run all the way to Gravesend we feel it would be more beneficial for us to create the much needed link, between Ebbsfleet Garden City and old Northfleet to really improve the area and as such we’re really keen to use these proposals as a catalyst for developing Northfleet.
“We anticipate this sort of regeneration of Northfleet will enable growth by improving viability of development, attract firms to the area and reduce reliance and dependence on the private car to fulfil travel needs and increase the use of public transport.”
The Department for Transport currently has no plans to extend the line, which is expected to fully open in December 2018, connecting Abbey Wood in Bexley, through London to Reading and Heathrow airport.
But in his vision for the capital’s transport plans up to the 2040s, Mr Khan has suggested putting fresh pressure on the government to extend the line from 2025.
John Burden, Labour leader in Gravesham, feels things are moving in the right direction.
“With the Lower Thames Crossing on the way, and traffic building along the A2, Gravesham needs better links with London and Heathrow, aside from our roads.
“The route to Gravesend is still protected, our job if an extension is approved is to fight for that route to be maintained, so that in the future we can take further steps to have it extended to the town centre, and even beyond into Medway.”