New City bid to bring CrossRail back to life

A report by transport academics Stephen Glaister and Tony Travers says the case for CrossRail is now "even stronger" than when the scheme was first considered a decade ago. It floundered because while everyone proclaimed it an excellent scheme, nobody was willing to pay for it. Under the plan, the twin-bore tunnels would link existing mainline railways from the west at Paddington to those of the east at Liverpool Street. They would pass under central London with greatly enlarged stations at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon. It would link Shenfield in the east with Reading and Aylesbury in the west. It would carry 24 trains, each of 12 carriages, per hour each way and would transport 600,000 passengers a day relieving chronic over-crowding on the Tube's Central line. The City corporation argues that while the Government is committed "in principle" to the scheme, "something more tangible is needed". Ministers, it says, need to provide "solid political support via the rapid pushing forward of the necessary legislation and a commitment to underwrite the financing of the project costs." Graham Forbes, of the corpora-tion's planning and transportation committee, said: "The case for CrossRail is now overwhelming. CrossRail is, quite simply, good value for money." © Torcello Publishing Ltd, 2001

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