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Government plots Crossrail extension to Herts

Proposals to extend Crossrail to Hertfordshire are being considered by the Department of Transport, the secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin is expected to announce later today

Mr McLoughlin is set to announce these plans to cut journey times between London and Hertfordshire by up to 16 minutes at the Crossrail site at Farringdon in central London, reports the BBC.

The transport secretary is expected to say the proposals would take the pressure off the Tube’s busiest sections and make it easier to improve Euston, which will have 11 new platforms built under proposals for the HS2 high-speed rail project between London and the West Midlands.

Under the plans, stations likely to get Crossrail services will include Tring, Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction, Berkhamsted and Harrow and Wealdstone.

The £15bn Crossrail project is the first complete new underground line in London since the late 1960s.

Yolanda Rugg, chief executive officer at the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce told the BBC the announcement would be “a catalyst to drive economic growth” in the area.

Cllr David Perry, leader of Harrow Council said: “New investment from the government in London’s infrastructure is welcome, along with the potential regeneration opportunities this will bring to Harrow.

“As the announcement has only just been made the details have yet to be known, but we will follow developments closely and work with all organisations to ensure any extension to Crossrail supports our priorities to support local businesses and get young people into work in Harrow.”

Mark Cowlard, partner and global head of rail at EC Harris, said: “It is great to see that the government now recognises the considerable impact that infrastructure investment can have on wealth creation of the economy, and in fact how infrastructure itself can have a significant contribution to our GDP.

“New rail schemes providing better connectivity, capacity, and speed are to be welcomed. The news today of the extension of Crossrail into Hertfordshire is to be applauded, but funds need to be committed to move ideas from good news and potential electioneering into reality and socio economic benefit.”

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