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Minister to visit for talks on Crossrail

PUBLISHED: 14:45 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:32 23 August 2010

THE Transport secretary has confirmed he will visit north Kent to discuss the extension of the £250 million Crossrail project next week. Geoff Hoon is due to meet Dartford MP Dr Howard Stoate at Ebbsfleet International Station on Tuesday. Mr Hoon was a

THE Transport secretary has confirmed he will visit north Kent to discuss the extension of the £250 million Crossrail project next week.

Geoff Hoon is due to meet Dartford MP Dr Howard Stoate at Ebbsfleet International Station on Tuesday.

Mr Hoon was asked to visit Ebbsfleet by Dr Stoate in early February when they met in the House of Commons to discuss the case for extending Crossrail out to north Kent.

Agreed by Parliament in June, the project is set to create a 74-mile railway line running from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west and to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

Dr Stoate said: "I'm delighted that a date has now been set for Geoff Hoon to visit Ebbsfleet. It's a great opportunity for the Minister to see for himself why we need Crossrail in Kent Thameside and I look forward to welcoming him here next week.

"Establishing a direct rail link between Ebbsfleet, Docklands, the City of London and Heathrow is very, very important if we are to persuade businesses to locate to Kent Thameside and create new jobs in the area."

Although the route to the Hoo junction has already been safeguarded by the Government, ministers have yet to make a commitment to extending the service beyond Abbey Wood, which if it gets the go ahead, will link Dartford and Gravesend to key central London stations.

The first trains are scheduled to start running in 2017.

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