“Once in a generation” plans to get Crossrail extended into Kent through Bexley have taken another step forward.

The C2E (Crossrail 2 Ebbsfleet) programme has submitted to the Thames Estuary Growth Commission, which was set up by the Government to explore growth in the south east.

This has been described as a major milestone for the campaign, which wants the Elizabeth Line to be extended through Bexley and Dartford all the way to Ebbsfleet.

Sadiq Khan included the extension in his transport strategy, saying that the project would support the thousands of homes earmarked to be built in Bexley and Dartford.

Once fully operational in December the Elizabeth Line will carry 200 million passengers a year, and boost the economy by £42 billion, according to TfL.

The line will hit 41 stations across a 60 mile stretch running through the city, taking passengers from Abbey Wood to Paddington in just 28 minutes.

Teresa Pearce MP said: “C2E will deliver transformative growth to part of South East London, Bexley and Kent. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle the poor connections to London and Kent that have held the area back for so long – evidenced by the fact that Bexley is one of the few boroughs without metro style tube or train services”.

Extending Crossrail is an important factor in supporting Bexley Council’s growth strategy, which focuses on regenerating the north of the borough to build thousands of new homes, centred around having the Elizabeth Line and additional river crossings built.

If it was extended, the Elizabeth Line would travel through the north of the borough – from Abbey Wood on to Belvedere, Erith, Slade Green, then into Kent through Dartford, Stone, Greenhithe, Swanscombe and Ebbsfleet- an area where 15,000 homes are planned.

Dartford has one of the worst journey times into London from anywhere inside the M25 – taking 52 minutes – meaning it is quicker to get to Peterborough from Central London than to the Kent town.

The route for Crossrail was cut down when its final design was established, Ebbsfleet was included in the original vision.

Paul Carter, the leader of Kent County Council, said: ““Kent must not be left off the Crossrail network – C2E will be transformative, providing new routes and capacity for commuters across Kent to travel to the capital, linking with both HS1 and HS2 high speed rail services.

“We want to see government invest in this bold new transport scheme and see the fast Crossrail trains joining HS1 at Ebbsfleet. This was the original Crossrail vision – it is time to finish the job.”

Sadiq Khan said in his transport strategy that the extension could be built by 2025.

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson said: “What we are asking for is the Department for Transport to finish the job they started. The Crossrail project has been successful, but it stops approximately 10 miles short of High Speed 1, which is clearly an unsatisfactory situation. 

“If Crossrail were to be extended out to Ebbsfleet and to High Speed 1, it would open up a whole range of opportunities for anyone using that service and give a huge boost to the local economy.”

The TEGC will now consider the campaigns submission before reporting back in May.