£16bn London rail project given royal assent on last day of parliamentary business

The £16bn Crossrail project has been given the green light by parliament.

On the last day of parliamentary business before the 11-week summer recess, the Crossrail Bill was given royal assent. This means agreement has been reached by both Houses of Parliament on the wording of the bill, and it can now go forward to be made law.


In practical terms, it will allow the Crossrail team to commence land acquisitions and appoint delivery partners for the £16bn scheme.

Enabling works are set to commence next year, with the main construction works scheduled for 2010. The project has a completion date of 2017.

Doug Oakervee, executive chairman of Crossrail, said: “Up to 14,000 people will be employed in the construction, and training schemes are planned to help equip Londoners along the route with the skills to secure these jobs. This will be a project for the whole community - a new world-class affordable railway that London expects and deserves.”

Crossrail is in the process of appointing multidisciplinary design teams for the new stations. These will include Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs.

Foster + Partners, Hawkins/Brown, Ian Ritchie Architects and John McAslan + Partners are among the architects to have designed Crossrail stations.

Four new independent non-executive directors Michael Cassidy CBE, Patrick Crawford, Sir Joe Dwyer, Heather Rabbatts CBE have been appointed to the board of Crossrail. Dwyer, a former boss of Wimpey, was involved in the construction of the Channel Tunnel.