AN EXTENSION of Elizabeth Line services from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet could have a capital cost of up to £3 billion.

Transport for London’s Director of City Planning Alex Williams told the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee on 21 May that the scheme, dubbed C2E (Crossrail to Ebbsfleet), was being led by the London Borough of Bexley rather than TfL. Current estimates gave a cost range of between £1.3 billion and £3 billion, which Mr Williams said depended on whether services shared tracks with existing Southeastern services east of Abbey Wood or had their own segregated tracks.

He said this decision would be examined more closely within the strategic outline business case.

The news follows the allocation of £4.85 million of funding by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to ‘support local partners to develop low-cost proposals for enhancing transport services between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet’ as part of plans to drive growth in the Thames Estuary area. Bexley Council said the resource will enable detailed feasibility, funding and viability work to take place on the scheme.

Elizabeth Line services to Abbey Wood will begin when the central section of Crossrail opens, targeted for late 2020. In terms of funding and financing an eastward extension, Mr Williams said options would need to be examined but suggested land value capture could make a significant contribution to the project’s cost.