George Osborne praises east London as he visits new Crossrail site
George Osborne said east London was "one of the most exciting places to be" when he visited the newest Crossrail tunnel under the Thames today.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer met staff 15m below ground at North Woolwich, where the most recently completed part of the 14.8billion Crossrail project was unveiled on June 13.
When the line opens in 2018, east London will be given better connections to central London, with journeys times cut by up to half the time from Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf, Bond Street and Liverpool Street
Speaking from the site, the Chancellor said: "This is one of the most exciting places to be right now as there is so much planned here for the future.
"This new line will enable more business to move here, more homes to be built and more jobs. We will strive to make sure the jobs go to local people in the area as well - that will be something I'll be looking into.
"We think this can also help with the housing crisis in London as the way to tackle it is to build more homes for people."
Speaking earlier to the workers and apprentices at the entrance to the tunnel, he said: "We know it's not finished yet - much like it is building back up the British economy - but we know we have got to keep going and moving forward."
The Chancellor was joined on his tour of the tunnel, by Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan, who said he was thrilled with the progress the team was making.
Mr Morgan said: "This is fantastic. We have hit every target in terms of time and funding - it's a great example of British engineering and I think it will enhance the image of engineering in this country on the global market."