Conservative Transport Minister Theresa Villiers has avoided answering a question by Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce about when the Crossrail station at Abbey Wood will be operational.
The Minister repeated a statement that the phased introduction of Crossrail services will commence from 2018, without providing any details about when the Abbey Wood station will be open for use. This follows recent statements from Steve Allen, Transport for London’s Finance Director, which suggests stations at the end of the Crossrail line like Abbey Wood could be delayed even further.
“I’m worried that by side-stepping the question, the Transport Minister is trying to avoid having to say that the Crossrail station at Abbey Wood will be one of the last stations to be up and running.
“Transport for London Finance Director Steve Allan recently gave evidence to the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee, and what he said is also a cause for concern. He said the initial plan was to have outer stations like Abbey Wood up and running six months after the central tunnels are completed. The central tunnels were supposed to be completed in 2017 but this has now been delayed until the end of 2018.
“He went on to say that Transport for London are now discussing with Crossrail whether it should take even longer than six months after the central tunnels are completed to have services running on the whole route from Maidenhead in the west to Abbey Wood in the east.
“This is a very worrying development. Any further delay to the opening of Crossrail’s Abbey Wood station would be a terrible blow to people in Erith and Thamesmead. We are already at a disadvantage compared to other parts of outer London because we don’t have a tube station.
“I will be asking the Transport Minister to publish full details of the revised plan and timetable for Crossrail, so we can know exactly when the Crossrail Abbey Wood Station will be open for local people to use.”