LondonUnlocked

CrossRail: An Accommodation?

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200812050825.jpgIt looks as if the BBC's prediction that CrossRail might be further delayed was premature, as The Times reports:

"Crossrail, the scheme to build main line rail tunnels under Central London, edged closer to construction yesterday when the City of London pledged £250 million towards the £16 billion cost."

At a launch at the Gherkin yesterday the Mayor, alongside transport Minister Lord Adonis and the City of London's Sir Michael Synder, pledged to continue work on the scheme, despite the recession:

"This is one of those moments in politics when you reverse the usual rule and get in a hole - and keep on digging."

With control of the project passing yesterday to TfL's hands, it is clear that the Mayor has the City and Government behind his efforts to fund and build CrossRail on time. Sir Michael Snyder has pledged to target the top London businesses for additional funds.

Yesterday news also started leaking of a possible additional funding route for CrossRail - the planning system:

"London mayor Boris Johnson is consulting the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority Group over using the planning system to help fund the Crossrail project.

"The consultation includes proposed alterations to the London Plan under which planning obligations would be used to secure financial contributions from office developments in the Central Activities Zone and northern Isle of Dogs."

[Local Government Chronicle]

It is unsure how much extra funding can be secured from such a change in the London plan, though clearly any extra funding will provide a fillip to the project.

With CrossRail now in the hands of TfL and Terry Morgan expect to see far more about the project released in the coming weeks and months.