Finally, decades after Paris began its RER system, London is building its first Crossrail, which is west-east and due to open in 2019. Like Paris’s RER it is being built to continental GB loading gauge and it eventually could take double deck trains.
It will transform cross-London communications: in London Whitechapel, Woolwich, West Drayton, Ealing Broadway and West Ealing will boom. As will Slough and Maidenhead on the west section.
Journey times will be Woolwich to Heathrow Terminal 4 in 56 minutes, Woolwich to Tottenham Court Road in 19 minutes. It will add 10% to London’s total rail capacity. It is Europe’s largest contraction project in 2015.
So what are landscape architects doing? Gillespies designed the Canary Wharf Roof Garden, Hyder’s landscape architects are working on Whitechapel Station, BDP are working on Ilford, and Maryland stations and surrounds. In total there will be 24 new station forecourts, 12 improved forecourts, 1,335 new cycle parking places, 328 new trees and 20 new pedestrian crossings. Designs for many areas include wider pavements, new pedestrian areas (including pedestrian prioritisation), paving, signage and road alterations to slow and reduce road traffic, improving safety.
However, the overall regeneration effects will be far beyond just that.
Re loading gauge: Letter 28 July 2010 Department of Transport to Peter Storey https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/40322/response/103683/attach/html/2/100728%20Response%20to%20Peter%20Storey%20about%20Crossrail%20technical%20specification.doc.html
Effect of Crossrail on home prices and potential regeneration http://wip10.ragedev.com/jll/2014/EMEA/crossrail/client-version/