'Extend Crossrail to Kent to boost Thames Gateway'

A plea from politicians and business leaders to extend Crossrail into Kent features in today's newspaper round-up.

The Evening Standard reports on calls from politicians and business leaders in Kent for the Crossrail link to be extended to the county via south-east London. It says that MPs, council leaders and firms want "the £15.4 billion line’s south-eastern arm to continue from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet — and include a new station at London City Airport". A letter has been sent to transport minister Jo Johnson that asks for £25 million to be set aside in the Budget to draw up a business case for what they call "C2E (Crossrail to Ebbsfleet)", which, campaigners claim, "could create thousands of homes and jobs in the Thames Gateway". According to the project's supporters, the 10 miles of line would see trains call at eight stations: Belvedere, Erith, Slade Green, Dartford, Stone Crossing, Greenhithe, Swanscombe and Ebbsfleet, linking with High Speed One and Eurostar. The newspaper reports that Crossrail’s original route went to Ebbsfleet "but was cut to Abbey Wood to save cash". 

A comment piece in the Daily Telegraph criticises the awarding of the Stirling prize this week to the new Bloomberg Headquarters in the City of London. It says the prestigious architectural award "should honour housing, not exorbitant offices" adding that the £1 billion Bloomberg HQ "is hardly representative of most UK building projects". The article states: "Given that its budget comfortably exceeds that of every other project on the shortlist combined, the Bloomberg headquarters hardly represents a model likely to be replicated soon. In a year when the housing crisis has rarely been out of the headlines, the fact that the sole residential project in the running was Henley Halebrown architects' fine student halls at the University of Roehampton feels like a particularly glaring oversight." It goes on to say the Bloomberg HQ "remains the latest in a line of Stirling winners unrepresentative of the architectural commissions that make up the bulk of our built environment". 

The Guardian reports that the M26 in Kent "is undergoing closures as work begins on turning it into a potential lorry park to deal with the possible impact of a no-deal Brexit". It says the M26 will be closed overnight until next week for site surveys, before another set of closures in the month before Christmas to install gates in the central reservation. It describes it as "the most significant practical work yet to prepare for the effects of the UK crashing out of the EU". It adds that local Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat was not informed of the work and says he "criticised the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, for apparently reneging on assurances that nothing was planned".

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