The botched opening of Crossrail won’t impact plans to extend it through Bexley, according to a top councillor.

The Crossrail to Ebbsfleet (C2E) campaign would “link the borough up” as the council plans to support major growth aspirations that would bring 31,000 homes by 2050.

Council leader Teresa O’Neill told councillors she was continuing to lobby to get the Elizabeth line, as Crossrail will be when it opens, extended despite delays to the initial launch.

A Government response to the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission report, which supported proposals for an extension, is expected before the end of the year.

“Last week I spoke at the Thames Estuary Growth Day”, the leader told the council. “City Airport, who also spoke, have come out and supported our C2E proposals and also want a new station there.

“Not only will you be able to get from Bexley to Ebbsfleet and Europe but also to Heathrow, Canary Wharf and City Airport. It would link us up all the way round.

“We are doing lots of work with councils in Kent who are all supportive. We are expecting the response to the report to come out before Christmas.”

It comes just weeks after it was revealed that Crossrail would not open as expected in December, and is running millions over-budget.

Cllr Louie French, cabinet member for growth, said he believed the delay would not impact the C2E campaign.

He said: “I know many residents made important career and family decisions based on services starting in December and the delay will have financial and social implications.

“We believe the business case for C2E is so strong for the UK economy and support is growing. Officers and cabinet members have worked very hard as momentum has built over the summer.

“Bexley requires a dramatic improvement in our transport and social infrastructure to support new homes and communities. We are clear growth has to benefit local people.”

The cabinet member went on to say the opening of the new 301 bus, connecting Bexleyheath and Abbey Wood, has been pushed back due to the delayed start to services.

“That was due to be consulted now but the opening is expected to be delayed until at least mid 2019”, he said.

Once Crossrail does open, commuters in Abbey Wood will be able to get to Liverpool Street Station in just 17 minutes.

Bosses said earlier this year more testing time was needed to “ensure a safe and reliable railway for customers from day one of services”.

The opening has been delayed until autumn 2019.