Prime Minister backs infrastructure as Crossrail reaches half way mark

David Cameron at Crossrail - infrastructure "foundation" for economy

The £14.5 billion Crossrail scheme has reached its halfway point this month, with prime minister David Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson and transportminister  Stephen Hammond visiting the new Crossrail Tottenham Court Road terminal.

Joining the ministers for an update on progress for the ambitious scheme were Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan, chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme and transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy.

Designed to add approximately ten per cent to the capacity of rail infrastructure in the capital, Crossrail services are due for completion by 2018, with the new system serving 38 stations across London and connecting Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west of the city with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

The prime minister commented during his visit: "Big infrastructure projects like Crossrail are vital for the economy of London and the rest of Britain.

"They are the foundation-stone on which business can grow, compete and create jobs - a massive 55,000 jobs in the construction phase of this project alone."

Overall, the scheme forms part of the government's national infrastructure improvement plans, with the latest Spending Review by the chancellor outlining £300 billion in capital projects that are set to be completed over the next six years.

Crossrail is a fundamental piece of this ambitious scheme, which aims to ensure the UK maintains its position as a competitive global player, while delivering major new developments for the future and much-needed jobs across the country now.

Other measures that were outlined in the latest review included an ongoing commitment to the HS2 high-speed rail network connecting the north and south of England with improved rail links, as well as £33.3 billion of funding for more social housing in 2015 to 2016 and an investment of £250 million into the rollout of superfast broadband infrastructure for 95 per cent of the UK.

It also includes the largest investment in new and upgraded roads for the country since the 1970s.

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