An economic study published today said Crossrail will deliver ‘substantial economic benefits for the whole of London and the South East’ after the east-west London railway opens in 2017.

The report by consultants Colin Buchanan, who were commissioned by Crossrail, said that faster journey times and reduced congestion will increase London’s productivity and earnings.

It said that when the anticipated benefits are modelled for just one year – 2026 – the annual economic benefit across all London’s boroughs is estimated at £1.24bn at 2008 prices.

Some boroughs in inner London will benefit by more than £60m a year – including Camden, Greenwich, Lambeth and Newham – and outer London boroughs will receive a ‘major boost’.

Colin Buchanan said in Barnet and Croydon, for example, total earnings of employees are expected to increase by approximately £24m in each borough as a result of the ‘productivity gains that Crossrail will enable business to deliver’. Overall, both boroughs are estimated to gain by approximately £30m each.

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘This incredible snapshot of the impact of Crossrail confirms the scheme will be hugely advantageous for each of the capital’s boroughs and its benefits will be felt beyond London’s boundaries. During this time of economic austerity, Crossrail is simply the right project at the right time to ensure the future prosperity of our city. The thousands of jobs and opportunities this project will provide will be a considerable boon for residents and businesses throughout London, the South East and even the wider UK economy.’

Crossrail’s director of land & property, Keith Berryman said: ‘The scale of Crossrail is significant to the economic future of London and the UK. The new railway will boost London’s rail capacity by 10% when it opens in 2017 and the benefits of reduced congestion on roads and public transport as well as productivity gains by businesses will be felt across the capital and the South East.’

The report said that the total economic benefits to London boroughs of £1.24bn each year will be around six times higher than the estimated annual Business Rate Supplement contribution by London’s businesses. This BRS contribution from business would be between £150m to £200m each year if the levy is set at 2p in the pound of rateable value for properties over £50,000.

Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5m people within 60 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business districts.

A copy of the study can be downloaded from the Crossrail website at: http://www.crossrail.co.uk/pages/crossrailwidereconomicbenefits29.html