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Crossrail Depot Strategy

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

The Government are aware of the concerns that have been expressed by the London Borough of Havering and others in the borough about the impacts of the proposed Crossrail train depot at Romford. Cross London Rail Links (CLRL) have been working for many months to reduce those impacts and at the same time to identify whether there is a viable alternative depot strategy that would remove the need for facilities at Romford altogether.

Following a fundamental review of its depot strategy, in the light of changes in the occupation and expected future use of existing depots, CLRL has concluded that it is possible for Crossrail to operate entirely from the existing rail depots at Old Oak Common in west London and Ilford in east London. As a result Crossrail would not need to construct any of the proposed facilities at Romford or to make use of sidings at West Drayton in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

The revised depot strategy will reduce the overall environmental impacts of the Crossrail project by removing the need for the construction of new facilities at Romford. CLRL estimate that the cost of the revised strategy will be up to £80m lower than that of the Romford scheme.

The revised strategy will require the acquisition of a small amount of open land at Old Oak Common to allow for improved rail access. The land lost will be replaced by an equivalent amount from an adjacent brownfield site.

In order to implement the revised strategy, the Bill will need to be amended. The Government will promote an additional provision in due course (including a detailed environmental assessment), which will be subject to the agreement of the Select Committee. Those affected by the additional provision will be able to petition Parliament.

As part of the revised strategy, it is proposed to move EWS Limited from Old Oak Common to North Pole, which is to become vacant in 2007. It is also proposed to move Bombardier Transportation Ltd. from, or within, Ilford depot. CLRL will continue to work closely with these organisations to try to minimise the impacts upon them.

CLRL will in due course write to existing petitioners affected by this announcement and undertake information rounds in relevant areas to explain the details of the revised depot strategy and the implications for the local area.