Crossrail cuts dole queue with London’s biggest jobs scheme since 2009

Track contruction at entrance to rebuilt Connaught tunnel under East London's Royal Docks

Track contruction at entrance to rebuilt Connaught tunnel under East London's Royal Docks - Credit: Crossrail

Building Crossrail which starts running in 2018 has been one of the biggest boosts to jobs and helped London beat the recession, a report on its economic and social impact reveals.

Track-laying for Crossrail's East London connections

Track-laying for Crossrail's East London connections - Credit: Crossrail

It has been one of the biggest successes in cutting the dole queue since construction began at Canary Wharf in 2009, according to the fourth sustainability report on the project.

The scheme has taken on more than 4,000 people in London alone, including many from east London’s 2012 Olympic ‘host’ boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham.

It surpassed its target for creating apprenticeships as well, with the opening of the ‘Tunnelling Academy’ at Ilford. Many now working on Crossrail had previously been unemployed.

Crossrail chief Andrew Wolstenholme said: “We’ve surpassed several targets in the past 12 months, including 400 new apprentices that we’ve taken on.”

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Around 95 per cent of the contracts awarded by Crossrail were to British companies, with 40 per cent of their suppliers being in London.

Crossrail was seen from the beginning by government ministers and the Mayor of London as an economic and social legacy.

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Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This work isn’t just about bringing transport benefits, it’s also about creating economic benefits. Europe’s largest infrastructure project has already created thousands of jobs and seen millions of pounds spent with suppliers.”

Crossrail will increase central London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent, reducing congestion on the Underground and National Rail.

The first train arrives at the platform in December 2018, giving direct link, for example, from Whitechapel to Heathrow Airport in 39 minutes, to Canary Wharf, Stratford or the City in two minutes, the West End in 20 minutes and other direct journeys to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in a fraction of the time it takes at present. Crossrail will carry an estimated 200 million passengers a year.

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