December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 22, 2013
Doubts have been raised over whether the proposed Crossrail station in Woolwich will be finished in time.
The station box has been completed by developers Berkeley Homes and will be handed over in preparation for the project’s tunnelling machines.
But politicians and residents have voiced fears over whether there will be sufficient funds to ensure the actual facility will be fitted out and open in 2018.
It is hoped money will be sourced from developers and businesses in the area as Berkeley Homes will not fund the entire Woolwich scheme.
London Assembly Lib Dem leader Caroline Pidgeon has posed two written questions to London Mayor Boris Johnson over the issue.
In a response provided last year, he said: “The fit-out of the Crossrail station at Woolwich has always been conditional on receiving sufficient funding contributions from developers and businesses in the area.
“Both Crossrail sponsors, Department for Transport and Transport for London, have been working hard to find a viable funding package since the deal to construct the station box was agreed in February last year.
“As part of that work, officials have been working closely with Berkeley Homes and the Royal Borough of Greenwich to secure the necessary private sector contributions to fund the fit-out of the station.
“Initial discussions with both Greenwich and Berkeley Homes have been largely positive and there is broad consensus about the proposed structure of the funding package. Detailed discussions are now under way.”
Berkeley Homes is to hold an open day at the site next Wednesday. Construction work on 585 homes, and retail and commercial units on the station box site is due to start later this year.
Ms Pidgeon said the prospect of Crossrail springing into action before the Woolwich station was opened would be “a criminal waste of public money and a real betrayal of people in south east London”.
She added: “The Mayor and TfL should spend less time and effort pushing forward a new tunnel under the Thames designed primarily for private motorists and instead ensure that a public transport link across the Thames delivers to its full potential.”
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said it would be inappropriate to comment on matters where Transport for London and the Mayor have been criticised.