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Councils 'should act now' to spread Crossrail benefits

Words: Helen Bird

A new report highlights ways in which councils and their partners can ensure Crossrail meets its regeneration potential throughout London.

Crossrail as a Catalyst (pdf), published today (23 April) includes a 20-point checklist for boroughs that addresses issues from planning to employment.
It was created using lessons from six stations on the £15bn pan-London railway.
The report also makes a series of recommendations for councils and policymakers that are designed to publicise the benefits of Crossrail ahead of its launch in 2018.
Future of London, which published the report, said that, while regeneration is part of the business case for projects, enabling powers and funding should come from parliament.
Director Lisa Taylor said that reaching the regeneration and development potential of rail schemes "matters for London".
"Our report is an urgent call to action for all involved, and a set of best-practice guidelines to help stakeholders realise the opportunities while there's still time," she said.
Taylor added that the report highlights missed development opportunities.
She said it identifies how the capital "could achieve much more in terms of station-area regeneration – and its ripple effect on local economies and communities – if greater consideration was given to the 'non-rail aspects of station development right from the outset".
Katie Kerr, senior planner at Arup and report contributor, added: "Every community along the route is different but sharing best practice is an effective way to ensure that local authorities can help their areas to become vibrant, productive and sustainable places to live.
"Initiatives don't all have to be costly as small-scale changes can make a big impact, but now is the time to act."