Crossrail: Impact and Opportunity

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Keith Berryman, Director of Land and Property at Crossrail, gave the keynote speech at NLA’s half-day infrastructure conference looking at the impacts and opportunities presented by Crossrail.

Crossrail is a new high-frequency railway that will travel from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via new twin tunnels under central London. The railway will link vital areas of London such as Heathrow Airport, the West End, the City of London and Canary Wharf, and bring 1.5 million people within a 60 minute commute of the city.

Much of the funding for the £15 billion project will come from a new Business Rate Supplement, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 contributions, and Kevin McCauley, Head of London Research at CB Richard Ellis followed Keith Berryman with a frank presentation on their likely impacts on London development.

Les Sparks, who is leading the Crossrail Design Review Panel at CABE, responsible for ensuring quality design in the new central stations, also presented their key concerns, including the quality of the surrounding public realm, attention to entrances and wayfinding, ease of movement and flexible oversite developments.

Architects from John McAslan and Partners, Wilkinson Eyre Architects and BDP presented their plans for three of the stations along the central section of the railway: Bond Street, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel, while Julian Maynard introduced plans for the architectural components which will create a common identity throughout these stations.

Crossrail is set to have a major impact on Tottenham Court Road, with preliminary works already underway. Ed Watson from the London Borough of Camden explained how Crossrail has become an important part of their Core Strategy, providing the opportunity to put this part of inner London back onto the map and link up key areas of London.

Preliminary works for Crossrail are already well underway, with main construction starting in 2010 and completion expected in 2017.

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