On 23 November following the traditional opening of a new UK Parliamentary session with the Queen’s Speech, the promoters for the Crossrail trans-London tunnel welcomed the news that a Bill to take the scheme forward was included in the planned legislation.

Norman Haste, chief executive of Cross London Rail Links (CLRL), said: “Everyone on the project has been working hard to reach this point. We are looking forward to seeing a Bill presented to Parliament as we move another step closer to making Crossrail a reality.” The Parliamentary bill is an important part of the approval process for the scheme.

On the same day, Crossrail announced a change to the planned route for the project. Trains would now terminate at Abbey Wood on the southeastern section of the route “to ensure a fast and frequent service”. This is a change to the proposed route announced in July that advocated four of the 24 trains planned to travel per hour through the central tunnel would continue past Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet. CLRL said that the risk of delay caused by Crossrail trains having to interleave with North Kent line services would cause unacceptable disruption to Crossrail’s high frequency service pattern. A new interchange will be built at Abbey Wood to allow a smooth connection for passengers wishing to travel to and from north Kent.

CLRL has asked the Secretary of State for Transport for powers in his hybrid Bill only as far as Abbey Wood. It was added that safeguarding arrangements for the Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet section may be put in place. Haste said that when technical issues for the postponed section were overcome, that section could progress. He added: “This would not mean a fresh hybrid Bill and could be undertaken with a much simpler Transport and Works Act Order.”