Millions of people travelling to and through London will benefit after Network Rail secured vital backing for its plans to link the new Thameslink and Crossrail services at Farringdon station.
Plans for a new integrated ticket hall were approved by Islington Council late last night. Work will get underway immediately to bring these important improvements to passengers as soon as possible.
After hearing the news, Network Rail's Programme Manager Richard Walker commented: "Our new station at Farringdon puts passengers first, making it easier to change between trains in a much improved environment.
"Bringing together Thameslink services, Crossrail and connections to the tube is common sense. It shows that Network Rail is planning for the future, and working closely with Transport for London and Crossrail Ltd."
John Ball, Director of Strategy and Service Development, London Underground said: "By 2017, Farringdon will have been transformed into one of the most important transport hubs in central London. Served by Thameslink, Crossrail and Tube services, passengers will benefit from the ability to make north-south and east-west journeys across London.
"Together the work to upgrade the Tube and Thameslink and build Crossrail will be critical to provide the additional transport capacity needed to support London's future growth and success."
The Thameslink Programme and Crossrail are of national importance. They will bring new jobs and opportunities for business, while passengers will benefit from better connections across London and the south east as well as to European destinations from St Pancras International. Uniquely, four of the capital's major airports will become accessible directly from Farringdon as they sit on either the Thameslink or Crossrail routes.
The station redevelopment will see Farringdon become a crucial transport hub. The station plans include an eco-friendly brown roof and brings the potential for wider regeneration in the area. The Thameslink project has directly created around 1,000 new jobs with hundreds more for the capital as construction gets underway.
This success is just the latest sign of progress at Farringdon. A new entrance and passenger footbridge opened in March 2009 and more train services are already able to travel south from the station. By 2012 longer trains will be able to stop at Farringdon station, meaning more room for passengers and a new pedestrian space will be created outside the station.
Notes to Editors:
The plans for the new integrated ticket hall were approved by Islington Council last night. This followed a series of consultations with local people. Network Rail is committed to working responsibly and with the council's planning and conservation officers and English Heritage to make sure the designs are suitable for the area. The Thameslink Programme is a £5.5bn investment to improve the railway and provide new trains. The plans will deliver more seats, and new journey options for passengers travelling to or through London from the north and south.
Crossrail will run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through central London and on to Canary Wharf, Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east. When it opens in 2017, Crossrail will provide new transport links with the Tube, Thameslink, National Rail, DLR and London Overground.
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Network Rail is the 'not for dividend' owner and operator of Britain's railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations - the largest of which we also manage
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