Bexley Council will continue to press for Crossrail to be extended through the borough despite a blow from TfL this week claiming the move was “not on the agenda”.

Leader Teresa O’Neill said there is still a strong case for taking the Elizabeth line through Bexley despite TfL commissioner Mike Brown playing down the chances of the extension at City Hall this week.

Crossrail will link Abbey Wood through the capital and out as far as Reading when it eventually opens – over a year later than planned.

MPs and council leaders including Bexley’s want the delayed £15.4 billion line’s south-eastern arm to be taken further from Abbey Wood, through Belvedere and Dartford and out to Ebbsfleet.

The proposed extension would play a vital role in supporting Bexley Council’s ambitious growth strategy, which plans 30,000 homes by 2050.

Extending the Elizabeth line is a “key infrastructure project”, according to the strategy, which has earmarked the north of the borough for major regeneration.

But Mr Brown said the £1.5bn add-on was not “on the agenda”, New Civil Engineer reported.

Responding to the claim, Councillor O’Neill said:  “I understand that City Hall are currently focused on ensuring that Crossrail services operate on the existing line.

“However, this statement doesn’t reflect the conversation with the deputy mayor Heidi Alexander, who visited last week and she could see the tremendous opportunities that will be created by extending the line from Abbey Wood to Ebbsfleet.

“Taking the line to Ebbsfleet as originally planned will create fantastic opportunities for ‘good growth’ along the Thames.

“That means quality developments with good connectivity and opportunities for people and businesses in places like north Bexley, where there is old industrial land available for the right kind of development.

“Extending the line would not just be good for Bexley, but also help meet the Government’s and the Mayor of London’s ambitious housing targets.”

Bexley Council plans to make the case for the ‘C2E’ extension to be included in the Comprehensive Spending Review this autumn.