Plenary on 2006-12-06
Session date: 
December 6, 2006
Question By: 
John Biggs
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)


How confident are you that Crossrail will be approved, funded and built and what are the main issues that still need to be resolved?


Answer for Crossrail

Answer for Crossrail

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

We are the furthest forward we have ever been in getting Crossrail built. We have a robust scheme, with a review currently reducing the cost even further. The support is widespread and cross-party, including from the Government, 20% of top FTSE companies, the CBI, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, London First, all London boroughs, most London MPs, the Mayor, Assembly Members including yourself, UK Tourist Bodies and Unions. Crossrail is the single biggest addition we can and need to make to London's infrastructure. The case is overwhelming. The benefits over 60 years of a £30bn increase in UK GDP, £12bn more in tax revenue and £5bn saved in time to business easily outweigh the cost.A Bill for Crossrail is being taken through Parliament, sponsored by the DfT. The main outstanding issue is funding. We have been having constructive talks with the Treasury, and are looking at a formula involving a contribution from fares, from business, and from the Government. The government has indicated that there will be a decision within the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. What is clear is that Crossrail cannot be delayed. While the capital's economy and population continue to grow, its transport system is already over-stretched. Crossrail is the single most important project to support this growth ' it would provide 40% of the extra rail capacity that London needs by 2015. Any delay could harm UK economic growth and regional regeneration, harm core business centres, undermine London's global importance and put huge pressure on the network.