On 3rd March, Rushanara Ali, visited the Whitechapel section of the Crossrail development. Given a tour of the tunnel, eastbound and west bound platforms and renovation of original entrance by Crossrail’s Chief Executive, Andrew Wolstenholme OBE, this was Rushanara’s second trip to the site, following an initial visit in November 2013.
Crossrail is currently Europe’s largest construction project after work began in May 2009 and aims to improve connectivity across the capital, which Crossrail estimates that when complete in late 2018 will service around 200 million passengers annually.
For East Enders this will mean a new station in Whitechapel – one of ten new stations being built – where the original entrance on Whitechapel High Street will be refurbished, as well as a new raised concourse being built and an additional entrance opened at the northern end of the station. Whitechapel station is scheduled to open in December 2018 when services begin through central London with trains running to Paddington in the west and Abbey Woof in the east. The route is expected to become fully operational in late 2019 where a train every two and a half minutes will run at peak time.
For passengers, Crossrail estimate, this will mean that travel time between Whitechapel and Bond Street will decrease from 23 minutes to 10 minutes; from Whitechapel and Heathrow terminal 1-3 from 53 minutes to 38 minutes; and from Whitechapel to Canary Wharf from 13 minutes to 3 minutes.
The new line will also boost the economy by billions of pounds and support thousands of new jobs.
“The scale of this project is enormous and seeing the work up-close for the second time now shows the huge impact a new line in London and platform in Whitechapel will have for Londoners. The new Elizabeth Line will not only help large numbers of people to move around London for work, but it will make the everyday life of Londoners easier whilst helping our economy.”