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London City Airport CEO slams TfL over Crossrail station block

London City Airport 2023
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London City Airport’s chief executive has hit out at Transport for London (TfL) after being refused planning permission to build a £50million Crossrail station at the Docklands facility

According to Construction News, Declan Collier said TfL’s refusal to give the project the green light was ’mind-boggling’.

The new station would link City Airport to Crossrail – now known as the Elizabeth line – but TfL has so far rejected the proposals.

Collier said: ’We have been proposing to the powers that be to build a Crossrail station here. We know we can deliver it but the amount of resistance we are getting to this completely self-funded project is mind-boggling.’ 

The airport has pledged to privately fund the station, which it says could be installed after the Crossrail line becomes operational in 2018.

But Elizabeth line operations director Howard Smith said City Airport has yet to submit a formal feasibility study for the project.

’We are always open to hearing feedback on the future Elizabeth line service,’ Smith said in a statement to Construction News.

But he added: ‘We have not had a formal feasibility study from London City Airport and we are focused on delivering the current project on time and to budget.’

Collier said the airport had already secured a number of developers willing to invest in the project and added that, once built, the station would generate more than £3 million a year to cover its operational cost.

He said the ’deafening silence from TfL’ was frustrating but he added that the airport would continue to ’push the rock up the hill’ to get the station built.

If the plans got the green light, the City Airport stop would become the 11th new station constructed along the £14.8 billion line.

Crossrail Route   H

Crossrail Route H

City Airport has also approached transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin with its station plans.

McLoughlin said the airport would have to show the project required no public money, would not affect Crossrail’s 2018 completion date and would not increase journey times before it could be considered.

A City Airport feasibility study found that the station would increase journey times by just two-and-a-half minutes and could be built after 2018 without impacting Crossrail.

City Airport is also trying to gain planning permission for a £300 million expansion plan, which would involve the construction of a new terminal.

Former mayor Boris Johnson blocked the expansion plans in March because of concerns around noise but the objection was removed by new mayor Sadiq Khan earlier this month.

Collier revealed the process to obtain planning permission for the expansion had so far cost the airport £2.5 million.

The expansion application is now with the planning inspectorate, who will send a report to the government, which will then either deny or approve the plans.

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