Crossrail Act

Crossrail is a new east-west railway linking Maidenhead and Heathrow in the West via tunnels under Central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the East. A copy of the Crossrail regional map is available on this website.

Crossrail will significantly increase the capacity of the rail network into and across London and relieve congestion and overcrowding on the existing Rail and Underground networks to meet the substantial growth in demand for travel over the coming decades.

Crossrail will facilitate the continued sustainable development of London’s primary finance and business service activities, located in both the City and Docklands and support local and national Government policy for economic development and regeneration, particularly in the Lee Valley and Thames Gateway areas.

The Crossrail Act received Royal Assent on 22 July 2008. The Crossrail Bill, which was hybrid, was introduced in to the House of Commons on 22 February 2005. It provides for the construction, maintenance and operation of Crossrail.

A hybrid Bill is "a public bill which affects a particular private interest in a manner different from the private interests of other persons or bodies of the same category or class”. For example, the Crossrail Bill provides for the compulsory purchase of certain properties along the route"

The Crossrail Act (PDF - 932 KB) and its accompanying explanatory notes can be found by following the links.

Earlier versions of the Bill and explanatory notes can be found on the Parliament website.

Parliamentary History of the Crossrail Act

House of Commons

The Crossrail Hybrid Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 22 February 2005 and secured its Second Reading on 19 July 2005. Following Second Reading the Bill was formally committed to a Select Committee. It spent 21 months before the Select Committee, which heard 205 of the 466 petitions or objections lodged against the Bill. The other 261 petitions were either withdrawn or the petitioner chose not to appear before the Committee.

The Select Committee requested various amendments to the Bill, the most significant of which were provision for a new station at Woolwich and an additional ticket hall at Liverpool Street. Both were agreed to by the Government and subsequently brought forward through additional provisions or amendments to the Bill. The Select Committee produced two sets of interim decisions and a final report, dealing with those petitions where they thought that further action should be taken. Transcripts of the Committee’s hearings and its first special report can be viewed here.

In some cases the amendments required further environmental assessment work to be carried out and published. They are called the Amendment of Provisions Environmental Statement (APES) and are available on the Crossrail Bill supporting documents website.

The Government’s response to both sets of the Committee’s decisions can be downloaded here - Government response to the Crossrail Bill Select Committee's interim decisions (PDF - 167 KB).

The remaining Commons Bill Stages - Public Bill Committee, Report and Third Reading - were completed during November and December 2007.

House of Lords

First Reading in the House of Lords took place on 14 December 2007, which triggered a new petitioning period that ended on 30 January 2008. Lord Bassam of Brighton, was the Minister responsible for the Bill in the Lords. The Bill secured Second Reading on 9 January 2008.

Commencing on 19 February, the Lords Select Committee sat in public for 29 days of hearings to consider the cases of 45 of the 113 petitions deposited against the Bill. The Committee reported the Bill on 19 May, and published its Special Report, explaining its decisions and recommendations, on 27 May.

The Promoter issued its response to the Committee's Special Report on 5 June.

The remaining Lords Bill Stages - Grand Committee, Report and Third Reading - were completed during July 2008.

On 22 July the Bill received Royal Assent.

Further information on the Bill and its progress through Parliament can be found online.

Environmental Statement and Supporting Documents

As part of the process of seeking powers for Crossrail, the project was subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). An EIA is a legal process that includes the identification of the significant environmental impacts that are likely to arise from the project. This was undertaken by a team of independent specialists, and the findings of the assessment are reported in an Environmental Statement (ES) which was submitted to Parliament. A copy of the ES (including the various Supplementary Environmental Statements (SESs), the Amendment of Provisions Environmental Statements (APESs) and other accompanying documents) are available from the Act supporting documents website

The Department invited comments on the ES and compiled the responses it received into a command paper which was presented to both Houses of Parliament prior to 2nd Reading in the Commons. 

Further comments on the ES (including comments on the various SESs and APESs) received after 10 June 2005 but before 8 August 2007 were compiled into a further command paper which was also presented to both Houses of Parliament prior to 3rd Reading in the Commons. The report, Further Responses to the Government's Consultation on the Crossrail Bill Environmental Statement, is available online.

The Government also published a Command Paper entitled Government Overview of the Case for Crossrail and Its Environmental Impacts. It summarises the work done to assess, control and mitigate the environmental impacts of Crossrail, and explains why the Government continues to take the view that the Crossrail project is worthy of its support.

Crossrail Act supporting documents

In addition to the Act, various supporting documents have been produced detailing matters ranging from the original business case for Crossrail to the environmental impacts of its construction. These include:

  • the Environmental Statement
  • plans and sections of the project
  • a Non-Technical Summary (NTS) of the Environmental Statement
  • Supplementary Environmental Statements and their NTS's
  • Amendment of Provisions Environmental Statements and their NTS's
  • Crossrail property policies
  • Information Papers, detailing specific parts of the project
  • the Environmental Minimum Requirements (Including the Construction Code)
  • the register of undertakings and assurances given to petitioners

The documents above can all be accessed on the Crossrail Bill supporting documents website.

Crossrail Ltd

Crossrail is being constructed by Crossrail Ltd, which is a special purpose delivery body set up to deliver the Crossrail scheme, as defined in the Crossrail Act 2008. 

Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. More information on Crossrail and the project can be found on the Crossrail website

Crossrail - Heads of Terms

The Heads of Terms, published in November 2007, details the agreements that were reached between DfT and TfL that underpinned the Prime Ministers announcement in October 2007. It sets out, with only those redactions necessary to prevent harm to commercial interests, the agreements that have been reached between DfT and TfL on the future funding and governance of the Crossrail project.

A Crossrail: summary of the Heads of Terms (PDF - 445 KB) , the Crossrail: Heads of Terms (PDF - 1362KB) and a copy of the Crossrail: letter to the Secretary of State for Transport from the Mayor of London (PDF - 72 KB) are available on this website.

Contact Details

For enquiries about the Crossrail project, you can contact The Department for Transport at: or by writing to:

Crossrail Team

Department for Transport
Zone 4/31
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street

Crossrail business case summary report

This report presents the latest update of the business case for Crossrail, a new world-class and affordable railway across London.

10 August 2010

Funding and governance arrangements

Details of the funding and governance arrangements for the Crossrail Project.

Crossrail forums

Information and minutes from Crossrail forum meetings.

Archived content

The following content is available from the Department for Transport web archive .

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