17 MAY 2021


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Article from BTNews 17 MAY 2021

Crossrail and London City Airport

The Elizabeth Line (nee Crossrail) is now due to open in the first half of 2022.  The £20bn project is four years late but will be a huge boost for London when it is finally delivered. 

Great Western Main Line and Great Eastern Main Line are already fully integrated with a new central section.  From Bond Street to Canary Wharf is just 13min.

The line surfaces from under London City Airport and hoardings have been placed so that passenger cannot see the aircraft.  At this point the railway uses the old North London Line and passes where Silvertown station used to be.  

Whilst plans for the station existed at an early stage they were never activated.  The airport recognizes that a station at this time is not needed due to prevailing circumstances, it is very confident that passenger numbers will quickly build up.  The DLR provides only an inadequate service to the massive Bank interchange.

Kate Hoey, from County Antrim, was for a long time a resident of Docklands.  The former Labour MP for Vauxhall is now Baroness Hoey and sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.  She is a regular user of the airport and is typically frustrated that politics are still involved in what is the major European gateway to London.

“The lack of a station at Silvertown for London City Airport was a major error by the then Mayor.  There is still time for Sadiq Khan to instigate a quick enquiry into its practicalities even at this stage.  London needs a real lift and boost.  An announcement now will help invigorate not just Canary Wharf but the whole capital.  It will show that in his new term he is focusing on both business and community”.

Experienced railway engineers believe that the station could be built in six months for less than £50m.  Even if delayed trains could be turned around at Custom House (ExCeL).  The idea of building the station at a later date is thought to be hideous in terms of cost and extremely disruptive.

Last week SWISS came back on-line from Zurich joining Amsterdam, Belfast City, Dusseldorf, Dundee, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Vilnius.  Glasgow starts today.



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John Jones, West Ham

Malcolm Ginsberg is to be complimented on his Silvertown campaign, but I think he has lost. Even the announcement of a City Hall review would show real confidence in the airport (and Canary Wharf). The PM, when first Mayor, saw LCY as competition for his Thames Estuary scheme and deliberately did not rebuild the existing station. He was wrong. With R3 at Heathrow the ‘over my dead body’ outburst might prove correct. The third runway is a long way off.