Boris says cut-price Crossrail is “bonkers”

Boris Johnson described proposing cuts to Crossrail as “bonkers” ahead of a meeting with the new Transport minister, while a 30% cut in the Crossrail budget was widely reported.

Speaking at Base London, the Mayor said that he would be telling Transport Secretary Philip Hammond that delaying Crossrail would cost more in the end, and that cutting the budget would be “stark, staring bonkers”.

Earlier he had confirmed his principle that investment in infrastructure was a necessary precursor to economic development, saying “if you build the infrastructure, the jobs will follow”.

Meanwhile, it was widely reported that the government is considering making a cut of £5bn in the £16bn budget for Crossrail. Building magazine reports that an options being explored include dropping one of the central London stations, cutting back the spurs to Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood in the east, and Maidenhead in the west, and cutting the length of the trains and platforms.

However, the reports suggest that the whole scheme is being looked at, and “value engineering” could be applied to the entire line, giving new grounds to the fears expressed by Pat Hayes, of LB Ealing, last week.

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