Crossrail 2

Meeting: 
MQT on 2017-08-10
Session date: 
August 10, 2017
Reference: 
2017/3215
Question By: 
Leonie Cooper
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Are we still on target for a Hybrid Bill going through Parliament in 2019?

Answer

Answer for Crossrail 2

Answer for Crossrail 2

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I want to start by thanking you and the Assembly for the continued cross-party support for Crossrail 2.  To ensure Crossrail 2 can carry passengers by 2033, it is vital that the Hybrid Bill is submitted in this Parliament, as you know.  Any delay, this will see the scheme’s cost go up by up to £2 billion a year and so it is essential that we get a timely decision from the Government.  2033 is a crucial date because it is when phase two of High Speed 2 (HS2) will start bringing tens of thousands more passengers into Euston every day and Crossrail 2 will be needed to support their onward journeys.  By this time TfL’s modelling also predicts huge increases in crowding on the Underground and on the southwest main line into Waterloo.  Without Crossrail 2, the southeast will grind to a halt.

 

TfL submitted a business case to the Transport Secretary in March [2017] and I have had a positive discussion with him since.  Chris Grayling [Secretary of State for Transport] has expressed his support for the scheme and, as we set out in a joint statement in July, we agree to work together to make it more affordable with London funding 50% of the costs during construction.  The recent General Election has meant the timetable has been moved back slightly.  The new plan is now to submit a Hybrid Bill in early 2020, receiving Royal Assent in 2022.  This does not affect when Crossrail 2 would start running services.  It would allow construction to begin in 2023 and the first passengers to use the service by 2033.

 

Leonie Cooper AM:  Thank you very much for that update, Mr Mayor.  It has answered one of my queries because I knew that TfL’s revised business case had gone in on time in March but with the intervening general election things had been pushed back.  I think everybody in southwest London welcomed the fact that you and Chris Grayling had made the statement in July and that we had finally heard that there was going to be support from the Secretary of State for Transport, which is extremely welcome.

 

There was then concern that we might not hit the hybrid build timetable and you have just said that it has now moved back slightly.  I just want to find out from you if you now feel that that timetable is definitely something that we are going to be able to stick with because, while you are saying the end date and finishing and completion in 2033 will not be affected by a slight slip in the Hybrid Bill, if there is any further slip, then that could potentially start to difficult.  Is that definitely firm?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Yes.  The DfT understands our concerns, which are obviously that the uncertainty causes problems with planning blight.  I am well aware of the issues around Tooting Broadway and so, the sooner that the DfT and TfL can agree and provide some certainty, there can be a draft route going out for consultation as well.

 

I had a very good meeting with Chris Grayling.  He understands the benefits to the country with Crossrail 2 happening and also why it is crucial for future jobs, future homes and the future of London, bearing in mind the population is rising.  I am optimistic.  The meeting we had was very constructive and we have agreed to do further work in relation to half the cost during construction.  It is going to be a challenge but we recognise that actually, with the Government being committed to a number of projects around the country, HS2 and a number of other projects, we have to in real time try to find that contribution.

 

By the way, for those colleagues around the country, I genuinely make a couple of points.  Firstly, the country needs Crossrail 2.  Secondly, we are contributing half the cost during construction, which is more than any other region or city is doing on any transport project across the country.  That is why there is progress being made and I am optimistic.

 

Leonie Cooper AM:  I want to ask you about that in a moment but, before that, can I just ask?  It is businesses and local people in Tooting, in Balham, in Clapham Junction and around Wimbledon who are all constantly asking me about when the next consultation documents will come out.  Is that still going to be running to the same timetable, even if the parliamentary timetable has slipped slightly?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  The DfT and TfL are keen to get out the new proposed route sooner rather than later.

 

Leonie Cooper AM:  That would be very welcome because, as you say, it does lead to blight for local businesses particularly, but local residents have that fear as well.

 

Moving on to what you were saying about the 50% funding, it would be quite unprecedented that we are going to be front-funding right from the beginning in that way and I very much take your point about how the rest of the country should bear that in mind.  What funding mechanisms are we specifically looking at to enable us to make that upfront contribution in that way?

 

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  You will be aware that actually we will be paying for Crossrail 1 for a number of years after it opens and the way we have managed to contribute a third of Crossrail 1 is a combination of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments and business rate supplement.  We will still need some of that going forward and so we cannot use all of that for Crossrail 2.

 

We are speaking with businesses across London about plans they may have in relation to the funding of Crossrail 2, but also one of the things the Treasury has been keen to work with us on is the issue of land value capture.  We talked about that in relation to good progress made with the Chancellor in relation to the Bakerloo line extension, but the DfT has given us a challenge to pay for half the cost during construction.  A demonstration of our can-do attitude is we are taking up the challenge given to us by DfT and trying to find ways to halve the cost of Crossrail 2 during construction.

 

We were confident of being able to repay the Government in the 2030s for Crossrail 2, but because the Government is keen for us to pay for it during construction - I am not criticising the Government; I am just saying that is just a fact of life - we are trying to find ways to make the sums add up.  That may mean the full Crossrail 2 not being built in one go, but we are keen to make sure we can meet the objective of the DfT, which is to have half the cost of construction paid, which is important for us to do.

 

Leonie Cooper AM:  Thank you very much, Mr Mayor, and we are keen to support the rest of the country being developed at the same time.  Thank you for that.