Kent site expected to get nod for tunnel link station

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The Independent Online
JOHN MacGREGOR, the Transport Secretary, is expected to confirm Blue Circle's Ebbsfleet site in Kent as a definite intermediate station on the Channel tunnel fast rail link during parliamentary questions this afternoon.

It is also understood that he will offer a compromise to Michael Heseltine and John Gummer by making provision for a deep 'box' at Stratford in east London which could be used for a further station if needed later.

Both the President of the Board of Trade and the Environment Secretary are known to favour a station at Stratford on the grounds that it will further the regeneration of east London.

The Department of the Environment is sitting on a document outlining its strategic plan for the East Thames Corridor until Mr MacGregor announces his choice.

A consortium of property companies and contractors, including Land Securities, P&O, Tarmac and John Mowlem, have teamed up with the London Borough of Newham to fight for a station at Stratford.

They argue that St Pancras will not be able to cope with the volume of international and commuter traffic that the rail link will deliver and claim that the congestion will not be solved by Ebbsfleet, which links the railway into the road system via the M25.