Crossrail—nice little earner’ at a billion quid

CROSSRAIL—the super tube’ soon going under construction—will earn London and the South East a cool �1-and-a-quarter billion a year after it opens in 2017, says a major economic study. The sum, estimated at 2008 prices, is six times higher than the estimated annual Business Rate supplement paid by London’s businesses, according to the study

By Mike Brooke

CROSSRAIL—the super tube’ soon going under construction—will earn London and the South East a cool �1-and-a-quarter billion a year after it opens in 2017, says a major economic study.

The sum, estimated at 2008 prices, is six times the annual Business Rate supplement paid by London’s businesses, according to the study published today (Wednesday).

Some London boroughs will benefit by more than �50 million a year each, including deprived Tower Hamlets and Newham in East London, it is reckoned.

Even areas not directly on Crossrail’s route will benefit, like Hackney which could earn �26m out of it or further out Barnet and Croydon with �30m apiece.


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Benefits would come from faster journeys, reduced road and public transport congestion, improved productivity and higher earnings.

SHOT-IN-THE-ARM

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The study, conducted for Crossrail by consultants Colin Buchanan, is a welcome shot-in-the-arm for London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has had to put together a swingeing budget this week in the face of recession.

“This confirms Crossrail’s impact will be felt even beyond London,” he said today.

“It is the right project at the right time during economic austerity to ensure future prosperity for London, the South East and even the UK economy.”

Newham is the East London borough set to benefit most, estimated at almost �100m, with neighbouring Tower Hamlets—which includes Whitechapel and Canary Wharf—totting up almost �52m, Hackney �26m and Waltham Forest �15m.

The 40-mile Crossrail line burrowing deep under the City and West End, linking Heathrow direct in the west, has its major hub at Whitechapel at the East End where it splits into two, one branch to Canary Wharf and under the Thames to north Kent, the other to Stratford and Essex.

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