Rail (UK)

Crossrail demands £80m to avoid project being mothballed

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£80 million is needed immediatel­y to enable the heavily delayed Crossrail project to continue.

In August, Crossrail explained how it would need an extra £1.1 billion to complete the scheme. Discussion­s regarding this larger sum continue between Transport for London, Greater London Authority and Government.

As this issue of RAIL went to press, Transport for London had not explained why the £80m was needed so urgently, where any resulting work is expected to be carried out, and why a failure to secure such a figure would stop the project.

Any figure for Crossrail is separate to the financial support TfL has received from Government to enable it to continue operating services ( RAIL 918).

A Mayoral source said: “TfL has stepped forward and taken on full responsibi­lity for delivery of the Crossrail project and, at the Government’s insistence that ‘London pays’, the current funding proposal will mean the vast majority of these costs are covered by GLA borrowing.

“This offer was made to ministers months ago and would mean London would cover more than its fair share of a project whose financial benefits will overwhelmi­ngly go to the Treasury. It is inconceiva­ble that a deal cannot be done on terms so generous for the Government.”

Shadow Rail Minister Tan Dhesi, whose Slough constituen­cy is served by the western leg of Crossrail, said: “Government are happy to spend millions in profits to private rail operators, but fail to support TfL to complete this muchneeded project. They need to stop playing politics and help to deliver Crossrail.”

Crossrail should have opened under central London in December 2018, with the full network in place by December 2019. The latest projection is of a hoped-for start towards the end of next year.

Meanwhile, Crossrail 2 has been ‘mothballed’ due to the current economic crisis.

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