Bishop & Sewell

Wherever you work or live in London, from June, travel around the capital will never be quite the same again, writes David Little, a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial department.

Subject to final safety approvals, it is hoped that the Elizabeth line will operate 12 trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood from Monday to Saturday 06:30 to 23:00. The new railway built by Crossrail Ltd will stop at 41 accessible stations – 10 of them new – and is expected to serve around 200 million people each year.

It will stretch more than 100km from Reading and Heathrow in the west through central tunnels across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

The construction of the Elizabeth line will be feted as one of the decade’s civil engineering marvels. Much more importantly think of the economic dividend it will bring to the capital, just when doom mongers are repeating that a recession is on the way. Time is money. If 200 million people benefit by saving 20 minutes on average each from their daily commute, as is estimated – that’s over 2 million more working days in total per year that the economy will benefit from.

Of course, you could just stay in bed for 20 minutes, but even if that figure was halved that’s an awful lot more work that London’s economy will benefit from. The new railway will connect stations such as Paddington to Canary Wharf in only 17 minutes. This journey currently takes more than 30 minutes to complete using the tube.

Why is it called The Elizabeth Line?

Originally known as “the Crossrail scheme”, the idea of an east-west underground railway culminated in the first full Crossrail scheme being submitted to Parliament in 1991.

Although this scheme did not pass the committee stage, a revised venture between the Strategic Rail Authority and Transport for London (TfL) was set up in 2001, leading to the Crossrail Bill being submitted in February 2005.

The Crossrail Act received Royal Assent in July 2008 and the main construction phase was launched in 2011. In addition to the extraordinary civil engineering feat, the legal challenges that have been successfully overcome over the past 21 years deserve additional praise.

In 2016, The Queen visited Bond Street station and the railway was renamed the Elizabeth line. Let’s hope many of those connected to this remarkable project receive a letter from Her Majesty in the Summer honours list conferring gongs all round.

They deserve it.

A special service will operate on Sunday 5 June for the Platinum Jubilee weekend. Services will run from approximately 08:00 – 22:00. Here’s what the new line looks like.

Contact our Corporate & Commercial Team

David Little is a Partner at Bishop & Sewell in our expert Corporate & Commercial team. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB315 on either 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 16 May 2022. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 16th May 2022

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