Concerns are mounting over how to build a section of the proposed Crossrail railway link in east London. The uncertainty surrounds the way in which the £16 billion twin tunnel will be threaded through various obstructions in the vicinity of Pudding Mill Lane in Newham.
John Herman, head of regeneration and infrastructure at Newham Council, said there are unresolved issues with the route under the River Lea and through a portal over an area called the Greenway.
He said: “It looks like trains will have to climb on a screaming gradient to get out from under the river, above ground and over the Greenway.”
The Greenway is a public right-of-way that follows the Northern Outfall Sewer, owned by Thames Water. This carries waste water from north London to the Abbey Mills Pumping Station near Stratford.
Cross London Rail Link’s plans for the portal include moving Pudding Mill Lane Docklands Light Railway station slightly south to accommodate a ramp needed to link Crossrail with the existing Great Eastern Railway.
A source at CLRL said: “The design is ongoing, we’re still working on it. But we don’t think it’s any kind of showstopper.
“We have a good relationship with Newham. The local authorities need to prove to their constituents that they’re fighting their corner. With that in mind we’re expecting pretty much all of them to petition – not necessarily on the same points as when the Bill went through the House of Commons.”
CLRL is gearing up to receive petitions from local authorities across London towards the end of the month, before the Crossrail Bill goes to the House of Lords. At the same time CLRL is understood to be in discussions over the future governance of the project.
This follows the announcement in the Comprehensive Spending Review that the scheme is to come under control of Transport for London after the scheme is given Royal Assent next year.