Agreement has been reached to build a new ‘station box’ on the Crossrail line through Woolwich, Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, announced today (16 February 2011).
The station box, which could be converted into a complete station in the future, will be privately funded by developer Berkeley Homes under an agreement with the Department for Transport, Transport for London, Crossrail Ltd and Greenwich Council.
Philip Hammond said,
A Crossrail station in Woolwich would make travel to the centre of London quicker and easier and would help bring new investment to the area. I am pleased that we have secured this site for a future station and have reached an agreement to build the ‘box’ for the station at no extra cost to the taxpayer, bringing the benefits of a station in Woolwich a step closer.
This is an excellent deal for the taxpayer and shows our commitment to deliver the ambitious Crossrail project while maximising value for money.
Crossrail will mean 1.5 million more people will be within a 45 minute journey of London’s business centres; it will boost the economy and generate thousands of new jobs.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
Crossrail is set to bring billions of pounds of benefits to the whole of the capital and the wider UK but this agreement with Berkeley Homes will help bring massive financial advantages to this corner of southeast London. As well as supporting housing development in the area, putting a Crossrail station in Woolwich will slash journey time to the City, West End and beyond for local residents. It is just one of countless examples of why this project is so important on a local as well as a national level.
Rob Holden, Chief Executive, Crossrail said
I’m delighted that the legacy of Crossrail investment has been secured at Woolwich. Crossrail will transform journeys across the capital, particularly from south east London. Construction work on the new station box will get underway shortly.
Rob Perrins of Berkeley Homes said:
This is an exciting project and Berkeley is looking forward to working in partnership with Crossrail in the delivery of a major new transport system for London and, in particular, in providing the station box at Woolwich.
Berkeley has always been totally committed to having a Crossrail station within its flagship development at the Royal Arsenal and it is hoped that with the Partners signing the contracts for the station box today that this will now become a reality.
Berkeley is delighted that its financial strength has enabled it to make a substantial investment in the Royal Arsenal station having now acquired the remaining land from the LDA and secured a planning consent for another 3700 homes and a significant area of commercial space to complete the regeneration of this important part of London.
However, there is still much to do to raise funds to ensure the station box is fully fitted out as an operational station at no net cost to the public purse. I have every hope that this can be achieved.
In 2007, outline agreement was reached with Berkeley Homes under which they would build the basic box structure of a station at Woolwich and then construct their own development overhead. The final agreement now reached means this is now a firm and practical commitment ensuring the construction of the Woolwich station box at no additional cost to the taxpayer above the current cost of Crossrail.
The new station will be beneficial for passengers using Crossrail, as well as for residents of the Woolwich area.
The station box at Woolwich would need to be fitted out before it is brought into full operational status - this will be conditional on developers and local businesses making sufficient contributions to pay for the cost of fitting out the station.
Background to Crossrail
Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business districts.
When Crossrail opens it will increase London’s rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London’s position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.
Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits for all of London and the South East. Latest economic forecasts suggest that Crossrail will add £42 billion to the economy, resulting in a £17 billion tax boost for the Treasury. Previous estimates were that Crossrail would deliver up to a £36 billion boost to the UK economy.
Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.
Background to Woolwich Station
Woolwich station box will be on the section of Crossrail that terminates at Abbey Wood. The Crossrail line to Abbey Wood will support regeneration in the Thames Gateway area, including the development of new housing and support for the local economy.
The Woolwich redevelopment site - Royal Arsenal - is a waterside housing and retail development near the proposed Crossrail station at Woolwich. The site covers approximately 30 hectares and is being developed by Berkeley Homes.
Development of the site has begun with 1,248 homes already built. The site includes a new heritage quarter including the Greenwich Heritage Centre and Royal Artillery Museum.
The full proposed development will eventually include:
- 2,517 new homes
- retail uses
- restaurants and cafes
- drinking establishments
- a hotel
- community health care, nursery, leisure and museum uses
- a cinema