Exclusive: the Department for Transport has said Crossrail’s £100 million Woolwich station may stand unused if an agreement to fund the fit-out is not reached, just days after Crossrail celebrated the completion of the station box.
A DfT spokesman told CN that Crossrail could “proceed with plans for a service that runs through the station” without stopping if negotiations between the DfT, Transport for London, Greenwich Borough Council and Berkeley didn’t come to a solution in time.
Though the DfT insisted it wasn’t yet considering other options, CN understands a new private funding source would be sought if negotiations are not resolved in time for the May 2018 opening date.
The DfT said it has been “working hard to find a viable funding package” with TfL and that a “broad consensus had been reached”, although specific details and contributions had not yet been decided.
A spokesman told CN: “The fit-out of the Crossrail station at Woolwich has always been conditional on receiving sufficient funding contributions from developers and businesses in the area.”
Berkeley Homes, Greenwich Borough Council, the DfT and TfL have been locked in negotiations since Berkeley pulled back from funding the whole project in 2009.
Greenwich council leader Chris Roberts said agreement on funding for the Crossrail station fit-out in Woolwich was “urgently” needed to enable Crossrail trains to stop at Woolwich.
“We are committed to doing what we can to make that happen,” he said, adding that he was “under no illusions that a Crossrail station at Woolwich will further the regeneration of the town [and] unlock huge investment potential”.
A total of 2,517 homes are planned for the site, alongside retail, catering and office facilities.
The station remains the final unfunded part of the line. It is understood that it would be significantly more expensive and complex to conduct the work once the line was running.