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Major boost for Crossrail as BAA agrees £230 million funding

By DfT Press Office

Crossrail took a significant step forward today thanks to the agreement of a £230 million funding package from BAA, Transport Minister Andrew Adonis and BAA's Strategy Director Mike Forster have announced.

In return, Crossrail will guarantee a fast train service four times an hour for the majority of the day. This will provide direct services from Heathrow airport through central London, the City and Canary Wharf and out to Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

The construction and implementation of Crossrail will also provide a boost of at least £20 billion to the UK economy and generate an extra 30,000 jobs.

Transport Minister Andrew Adonis said:

"Crossrail is the largest addition to the transport network in 50 years, and today's announcement that BAA have confirmed a £230 million funding package for the project represents a major step towards its delivery. Business has long been a strong advocate for Crossrail and this is borne out today.

"Trains will run four times an hour for most of the day - cutting journey times across London and the South East and significantly improving rail access to Heathrow for thousands of passengers and airport workers every day.

"This is a hugely important scheme for the country. Its implementation will help to generate new jobs, and so support the economy, as well as assist the revitalisation of some of London's most deprived areas by offering them a fast and reliable connection to the rest of the city."

Mike Forster, BAA's Strategy Director, added:

"We are delighted to support the Crossrail scheme, which demonstrates our commitment to improving public transport access to Heathrow. This vital new link will directly connect the City and Canary Wharf to the airport, complementing our existing Heathrow Express service and taking thousands of cars off the roads. Crossrail will be crucial in keeping London and the UK globally competitive."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

"The agreement with BAA is very welcome news and underlines the commitment that businesses, as well as TfL and the Government, are showing towards delivering the funding package for Crossrail.

"This is another significant step forward in preparing for the construction of this landmark new railway. Works have already begun at Tottenham Court Road station and the contracts to design and build the multi-billion pound project are all on track to be awarded by spring 2009. All parties are committed to Crossrail's success, and together we will deliver it on time and on budget."

The new line will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west through new tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. New stations will be created at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and the Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf). Passengers will benefit from reduced journey times to Heathrow as Crossrail will provide direct rail services for the first time from the key business centres across central London.

Crossrail is on track to be operational in 2017, providing a 10% rail-based increase in public transport capacity across London and faster services for passengers. In a ground-breaking deal the £15.9 billion project will be funded by both Government and the businesses that are set to benefit from it. BAA's funding announcement today demonstrates the commitment of the business community to this unique project.

The legislation that allows Crossrail to progress was given Royal Assent in July this year, with work to begin in earnest in 2010.

Notes for Editors:

1. £230 million contribution is in outturn prices, taking account of inflation and relates to an agreed base figure of £180 million in Q1 2007 prices. The contribution will be paid in two instalments linked to progress on construction of the Stockley Works, which will deliver greater capacity and reliability for rail services into Heathrow.

2. The contribution will be paid by Heathrow Airport Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BAA which owns and operates Heathrow.

3. The BAA contribution is subject to the approval of the CAA, BAA's economic regulator.

4. The project cost of £15.9 billion and its funding were described in the Heads of Terms agreement between DfT and TfL signed in November 2007. Heads of Terms available from: http://www.dft.gov.uk/162259/165234/302038/headsofterms.pdf

5. Crossrail will operate four times per hour between the hours of 07:00 to 21:00 on weekdays, 09:00 to 21:00 on Saturdays and 12:00 to 21:00 on Sundays. At other operational times the service will run two times per hour.

6. Crossrail services are in addition to the 4 trains per hour non-stop Heathrow Express services which will continue to operate. It will replace the existing Heathrow Connect stopping service that runs from Terminal 4 to London Paddington.

7. The total length of Crossrail is 118.5km, including 41.5km in tunnels. 38 stations will be served by the line and 24 trains an hour will run through the central section in each direction at peak times.

8. Further details about the Crossrail project are available from http://www.crossrail.co.uk

DfT Press Enquiries: 020 7944 3108
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BAA contact: 020 8745 7224 (Stuart Butchers)
Crossrail Press Office: 020 3229 9552 
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk