Experts believe they have confirmed the existence of a Black Death burial ground after analysing skeletons uncovered building Crossrail.
The £15 billion commuter rail line from Essex and Kent to Maidenhead in Berkshire is being extended to Reading.
Crossrail bosses have halted all tunnelling involving sprayed concrete following the death of a construction worker.
Crossrail Archaeologists have released their findings on skeletons that were discovered at Charterhouse Square last year. The area is believed to have been a 14th century burial ground for victims of the Black Death plague.
Crossrail stretches from Berkshire in the west to as far east as Shenfield in Essex and also takes in spurs to Heathrow Airport in west London and to Abbey Wood in south east London.
Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said once Crossrail services began across the whole line in 2019, passengers travelling to London from Reading and other Thames Valley stations would be able to reach more destinations across London without the need to change at Paddington.
Crossrail reaching Reading is further proof of our commitment to deliver a transport network fit for the 21st century. It will improve connectivity and deliver greater choice and convenience for passengers travelling into London.
– Stephen Hammond MP, Transport Minister
It will also make better use of the already congested Great Western Main Line, freeing up capacity for further improvements including potential direct services from Reading to Heathrow as part of the Western Access Scheme.
In addition, I have requested Network Rail to look at the cost benefit analysis of increasing the number of faster trains between Reading and Paddington.
Transport for London has confirmed the Crossrail project will be extended to Reading. With Reading and Twyford now on the Map, Crossrail will call at 40 stations.
– Crossrail spokesperson
“When the incident occurred, work was taking place to build a new crossover tunnel between two train tunnels that have already been constructed by Crossrail’s boring machines.
The worker was spraying concrete onto the excavated ground when a piece of concrete from the ceiling of the tunnel fell and hit him.
Crossrail has suspended all work at Fisher Street and associated works across the project.
Safety is our number one priority and Crossrail sets the most stringent safety requirements in the industry.
Despite this terrible incident, Crossrail’s accident rate is below the industry average.”
A spokesperson for Crossrail has told ITV London that the worker who has died was spraying concrete when a piece of concrete from the ceiling fell and hit him.