Transport secretary backs Crossrail 2
July 25, 2017 – Transport secretary Chris Grayling is to work with London’s mayor Sadiq Khan to try and identify an affordable funding package for Crossrail 2, with London paying half the £30bn costs.
London had already committed to meeting half the cost in the long term but the aim is now to see how it could fund its half during construction. The analysis is to be carried out before the autumn Budget.
Grayling and Khan issued a joint statement yesterday, following a meeting held last week.
They agreed that there is no doubt London needs new infrastructure to support its growth and ensure it continues as the UK’s economic powerhouse. “While London has shown how it could pay for half of the scheme over its life, the mayor and transport secretary want to see how London could fund half of the scheme during construction,” said the statement. “They agree on the need to ensure a funding package which works for both London and the rest of the country and recognises other priorities, but also delivers the new capacity and connectivity that London needs.”
The agreed way forward involves working in the coming months to examine ways to improve affordability while maximising the key benefits of the scheme, learning lessons from Crossrail 1, ahead of this autumn’s Budget.
Grayling said: “I am a supporter of Crossrail 2 but given its price tag we have to ensure that we get this right. The mayor and I have agreed to work together on it over the coming months to develop plans that are as strong as possible, so that the public gets an affordable scheme that is fair to the UK taxpayer. Following a successful outcome being reached I am keen to launch a fresh public consultation to help gather views to improve the scheme and clarify the position around the safeguarded route.”
Khan said: “Crossrail 2 is essential for the future prosperity of London and the south-east, so I’m pleased that the transport secretary and I have reached an agreement to take this vital project forward. We will continue to work together to ensure the project is value for money and provides the maximum benefits for jobs and growth in the region over the coming decades. I look forward to moving to the next stage of consultation.