Rebecca Harris Visits Crossrail Site

Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris recently visited one of the station sites under construction in the Crossrail project. The new Tottenham Court Road station will be a major transport hub in London when the new “Elizabeth Line” begins services in December 2018 with 200,000 passengers predicted to be passing through the station every day.

At least five businesses in the Castle Point form part of Crossrail’s supply chain, with many more in the area likely having won work through those firms because of the project. The firms include:

  • Apex Steel Structures Ltd, in Canvey Island, have provided temporary steel bridge and trestle at Whitechapel.
  • Paneltec Services Ltd in Hadleigh, are providing a panel based cladding solutions on Custom House station
  • F. Brazil Reinforcements Ltd in Canvey Island, supply prefabricated reinforced cages for diaphragm walls at Tottenham Court Road
  • Fastglobe provide mastic sealant on the Connaught Tunnel
  • Gordon Ince /European Tunnelling Services Ltd, experts in the design of tunnel boring machines.

These are part of the 75,000 business opportunities across the UK created by Crossrail, which will support 55,000 jobs. 96% of the contracts awarded by Crossrail went to UK companies. Almost two thirds of businesses in Crossrail’s supply chain are small and medium sized businesses.

Crossrail is also supporting the development of new engineers and transport construction workers in the UK. Over 15,000 people have trained at Crossrail’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy and 643 apprenticeships have been created on the project – including 34 from Essex. Over 1,000 people who were previously unemployed have gained work on the project. Experience which can be transferred to high quality jobs in High Speed 11 when that takes over from Crossrail as the next big project.

Crossrail is the largest infrastructure project in the whole of Europe, building a 73 mile metro railway from Reading and Heathrow in the west, right through central London, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The project will increase central London’s rail capacity by 10% - the largest increase since the Second World War. Passengers arriving into Fenchurch Street station will be able to connect onto the Elizabeth line at nearby Liverpool Street station. From Liverpool Street, Elizabeth line passengers will be able to travel to Heathrow in 30 minutes, Canary Wharf in 12 minutes and Paddington in 5 minutes.

Benfleet resident, Gordon Ince, MD of European Tunnelling Services Ltd, who was responsible for the design and manufacture of numerous other Tunnel Boring Machines including for the Channel Tunnel, said one of his biggest disappointments was that still too few British youngsters are opting to be civil engineers and working in the tunnelling and heavy civil engineering industry. Encouraging more young people to think of taking up engineering he said; “The future major projects work in London on Thames Tideway, High Speed 2 and Crossrail 2 means there will be a need for engineers. Hopefully they may come from UK.”

Rebecca Harris said: “It is amazing to see the scale of Crossrail, and great to see so many of my local residents and business benefiting from the project in the construction stage and of course many more when it opens to the travelling public. I learnt that at least five businesses in the Castle Point form a crucial part of Crossrail’s supply chain, with many more in the area likely having won work through those firms because of the project."