Crossrail (external website) – a fast new railway service for London and the South East – will shorten journey times, reduce overcrowding and open up new areas of the city.

A new high-frequency, high-capacity railway

Farringdon station

Crossrail is a new high-frequency, high-capacity railway from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will connect the outer suburbs to the heart of the City and West End, as well as providing a quick route between central London and Heathrow Airport.

Allowing London to grow

Crossrail will provide a 10% increase in London’s rail capacity, so it will relieve congestion on many existing rail and Tube lines. It will bring 1.5 million more people across London within a 45 minute commute of the key business districts of the West End, City and Docklands. It will be a modern service for the 21st century with energy efficiency technology being used from the start.


Cutting journey times

As well as boosting capacity and improving connections, Crossrail will cut journey times. For example, the journey from Heathrow to the West End will take about 30 minutes compared to about 50 minutes today.

Crossrail Business Rate Supplement

London businesses are contributing to the cost of the Crossrail project through a variety of mechanisms, the main element of which is a Business Rate Supplement (BRS) of two pence in the pound introduced in 2010/11 by the Mayor to raise £4.1bn. In addition, the Mayor is expecting to raise £0.6bn from s.106 contributions negotiated with developers, and from the Community Infrastructure Levy. On 29 January 2010, the Mayor announced that up to 4,000 of London's smaller businesses will be exempt from business levy to fund Crossrail. Those areas of London set to benefit most from the new rail link will pay a greater share. Find out more about the Crossrail BRS.

Planning obligations and the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy

Find out more about the 'Use of planning obligations in the funding of Crossrail, and the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy'.