Transport for London’s Crossrail – the line connecting London and southeast areas of Essex, Kent and Berkshire – isn’t due for full completion until 2018, but it’s set to have a huge impact.
In December, Real Business observed how the development is likely to affect businesses and commuters alike – according to Crossrail, it will support “at least 75,000 opportunities for businesses, generating enough work to support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs.”
With this in mind, the New West End Company has found that the Crossrail is set to have a £2.45bn boost to annual retail turnover in the West End. Indeed, the sum will grow from £8.8bn to £11.25bn by 2020.
Observing how people are likely to adopt the line, 47 per cent of the 3,000 respondents said they would use Crossrail and 33 per cent said they would shop in the area more frequently.
Peter Rogers, chairman of New West End Company, said: “There’s been a growing optimism throughout the West End as the opportunities that Crossrail presents have become clearer. This new research shows the sheer scale of the economic boost this remarkable project will bring to the 600 plus retailers that occupy the area.”
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Crossrail stations are set to be launched at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road, which is set to have a footfall increase of 20 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, with new customers and better trading.
However, those concerned about congestion can seemingly breathe a sigh of relief. The additional locations on Oxford Street will reduce passengers at Oxford Circus, which is renowned for overcrowding, by 20 per cent. As such 41 per cent of people said less chaos fewer crowds would encourage more West End visits.
Some 50 per cent of people admitted they were unaware that Crossrail is set to result in lower fares, thus one in five people said lower costs would inspire more visits to the West End.
“Crossrail will significantly extend the West End’s retail catchment area and most importantly will boost retailer turnover to £11.25 billion by 2020,” said said Jonathan De Mello, head of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs.
“This would put the West End a considerable way ahead of other global retail hubs such as New York, Paris and Hong Kong; cementing its position as the world’s pre-eminent retail centre.”
Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, added: “We always knew this landmark project would bring huge benefits to our city – but these exciting new figures even exceed our own expectations.
“They show that Crossrail will enable us to continue out-pacing our city rivals across the globe, as well as offer a greener more sustainable way for people to travel across central London.”
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