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MPs call for Crossrail to be expanded to Kent and connected to HS1

A group of MPs and council leaders have united to call for the extension of Crossrail into south London and Kent, a move which they say would unlock 50,000 jobs and 55,000 new homes.

The cross-party coalition has called for the delayed £15.4bn line’s south-eastern arm to continue to Ebbsfleet to “complete the missing link in the railway line.”

In a letter to transport minister Jo Johnson, they asked for £25m funding to be set aside in the Autumn budget to draw up a business case for Crossrail to Ebbsfleet (C2E).

Kent is the only home county not served by HS2, and the group say the Thames Gateway part of Crossrail, which was removed in 2008, is “creating 10 miles of missed opportunity.”

The MPs say they are now sending the message to the government that the time is right to back the final link of the Elizabeth line and unlock significant housing growth.

Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, said: “This is a crucial opportunity for the government to create a boom of new jobs, opportunities and homes in an area that needs investment to unlock its full potential.

“We came together today and presented our submission to the Treasury and DfT in person, because we wanted to demonstrate how passionate, determined and united our strength of feeling is in favour of this investment.

“We must commit to this vital extension, which will join up our transport network and bring Kent and South East London properly into the fold.”

The extension would support areas such as Gravesham and Dartford, often over-looked areas with high levels of social and economic need.

The letter outlines that creating a fast connection into Canary Wharf and central London, as well as connecting the Elizabeth Line with the HS1 rail line in Ebbsfleet, wold create a more joined up railway.

The extension has been backed by the Thames Estuary Commission as well as businesses and organisations including London City Airport, London Chamber of Commerce and HS1 Ltd.

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