Ministers tour Crossrail’s first completed tunnel

A political delegation including Danny Alexander and Lord Deighton has toured Crossrail’s first completed rail tunnel between Royal Oak and Farringdon.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, Infrastructure Minister Lord Deighton and Deputy Mayor for Transport Isabel Dedring became the first visitors to explore the 6.8 kilometre tunnel since TBM Phyllis arrived in Farringdon last month.

Tunnelling work is set to be completed next year and with close to 25 kilometres of the 42 kilometre tunnel network now complete, the unveiling of the Royal Oak-Farringdon sections marks a major milestone in the project.

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton said: “Big projects bring big rewards and Crossrail is another excellent example of the UK delivering on time and on budget to create world-leading infrastructure that will drive our economy.

“The project will create the equivalent of 55,000 new jobs, support thousands of business and produce lasting benefits for the whole country through the supply chain.

“With 90 per cent of contracts going to UK firms and 62 per cent outside London, it is a model that projects should be looking to follow so that we get the infrastructure the UK needs to compete in the global race.”

During the visit, the ministers met a number of Crossrail workers including some of the 400 apprentices expected to be created by the project.