Can anyone spare £160 million for Crossrail?
According to a report from the National Audit Office, taxpayers may have to stump up a whopping £160 million to cover a funding shortfall for London’s new Crossrail project.
Who is responsible for the shortfall? Why, Heathrow Airport, even though they’re set to benefit hugely from the new rail links which run from Central London to Maidenhead in Berkshire and Brentwood in Essex.
The new line, which is costing £14.8 billion, was initially planned to include a £230m contribution from the airport. But the Civil Aviation Authority decided that as the airport was running at almost full capacity, it didn’t really matter about the rail link anyway. So instead they’ve only agreed to pay £70m.
However the Department for Transport say that they have a contingency pot of money to hand, and that taxpayers will be ‘well protected.’ The National Audit Office report said that the project was on course to achieve value for money' and it would open in 2019.
But still, there’s also the small matter of finding 1 billion quid to pay for the actual TRAINS. And if the key stakeholders aren’t coughing up, what’s the betting we’ll have to?