The Mayor of London, and the Secretary of State for Transport have confirmed support for Crossrail 2.
The project has thus taken a major step forward. There had been dissappointment that it was not mentioned in the recent Queen’s Speech, and fears that it would stall amid government preference for investment in the north of England.
Last week the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had what they describe in a joint statement as a productive meeting to discuss the way forward for Crossrail 2. 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 – boosting productivity and attracting investment.
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 – in other words making a cash contribution in advance, instead of in arrears. 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.
They agreed a way forward 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.
Secretary of State for Transport, Chris 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.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq 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.”