Funding for Crossrail 2 is “in jeopardy” because of the extra £2bn announced for Crossrail this week, the Conservative candidate for mayor of London has claimed.
The additional funding needed for Crossrail will come from the Greater London Authority borrowing up to £1.3bn from the Department for Transport.
The GLA will pay back the loan from its business rate supplement and mayoral community infrastructure levy – revenue streams already earmarked to pay for the capital’s share of Crossrail 2.
In a statement to Construction News, Conservative candidate for mayor of London Shaun Bailey said: “[HM Treasury] has already said that because of TfL’s £1bn operating deficit, they will not front-end [Crossrail 2]. The mayor will have to stump up half first from London.
“This is now in jeopardy. Not only does it demonstrate to national government that the mayor cannot handle large infrastructure projects, the £2bn bailout will need to be paid from the same tax revenues that were supposed to be going towards Crossrail 2.
“It is very unlikely Mr Khan will get the next Crossrail signed off in his term as mayor.”
Transport for London has said the mayor is “fully committed” to Crossrail 2, and Mr Khan has said the former leadership of Crossrail was to blame for delays and cost increases.
In response to Mr Bailey’s comments, a London Labour source told CN: ”It was Mr Bailey’s own colleagues in government who cut TfL’s operating budget by £700m a year.
“Or perhaps it has escaped his attention that it is London which has stepped up to solve the Crossrail 1 funding problems.
“No one disputes the case for Crossrail 2,” the source added. “Relieving congestion on key underground lines and stations, and enabling new homes to be built – but it is true that it will need significant government funding to get it off the ground.
“Mr Bailey should be helping make the case for that, rather than sniping from the sidelines.”
Crossrail 2 would provide a link between the north and south, though its route has not yet been finalised. The first [Crossrail] line will run east to west across the capital from Shenfield to Reading and Heathrow.
Chair of the London Assembly transport committee Caroline Pidgeon said the announcement on Crossrail’s funding was the “worst-case scenario” with Londoners having to foot an even bigger bill despite not knowing when the project will open.
“Who knows how this will affect the rest of the budget and what will happen to projects that need mayoral funding,” she said.
TfL said that the mayor remains “fully committed” to Crossrail 2.
In a statement on Monday, the operator added: “Once the government and the mayor have agreed a route option for Crossrail 2 and there is a known cost for the scheme, further discussions will be needed around the delivery options in advance of the government’s comprehensive spending review in 2019.”
Sadiq Khan has blamed poor management at Crossrail for delays to the initial project.
He said earlier this week: “I haven’t hidden my anger and frustration about the Crossrail project being delayed. This has a knock-on consequence of significant additional cost to the project.
“It has been increasingly clear that the previous Crossrail Ltd leadership painted a far too optimistic picture of the project’s status.”