London mayor voices delight as European Investment Bank stumps up cash to fund part of transport mega-project

Transport for London has agreed an £1bn loan with the European Investment Bank to finance part of TfL's contribution to Crossrail.

Crossrail is due to open in 2017, with high frequency trains which will increase London's rail capacity by 10%.

It is hoped the project will employ 14,000 people at its peak, and support 7,000 further jobs linked to the project.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, said: “Our good friends at the EIB have provided us with a billion more reasons to proceed with the unstoppable force that is Crossrail.

He added: “It is one of the largest loans ever secured for a transport project and I am especially pleased to have this backing for our drive to provide London with the facilities required to keep the capital one of the world's leading cities.”

The first construction work for Crossrail began on 15 May at Canary Wharf..

Demolition works are continuing at Tottenham Court Road to enable a major redevelopment of the station, and tunnel boring machines will be launched in 2011.