It’s official: Full Crossrail project safe from cuts

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the Government is committed to delivering the full £16bn Crossrail project.

Mr Hammond broke the news on a visit to the Canary Wharf Crossrail station in east London’s Docklands where enabling work began in May 2009.

He categorically ruled out reports that stations like Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street would be culled from the project to save costs.

He said: “We want to see this project delivered in its entirety and well within the budget that has been set by managing costs throughout.”

He added: “The project will deliver huge economic benefits to London that far outweigh the costs, but of course every opportunity to engineer out costs and to maximise value for the tax payer has to be taken.”

Hammond said he had no plans to change the phasing or reduce the scope of the railway, which will connect Maidenhead in Berkshire with Shenfield in Essex via the West End and Canary Wharf.

He ruled out any stations cuts but added that issues at Woolwich station, which was being brought forward using developer finance, still needed to be finalised.

The industry has been awash with speculation about the future of Crossrail since Transport Minister Theresa Villiers  said she would look for “value for money” and that the transport budget was not ring-fenced from cuts.

One contractor bidding for tunnelling work on the job told the Enquirer: “This is excellent news,  a lot of people feared the worst but this confirms just how import Crossrail is to the economy.”

Alasdair Reisner, head of industry affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “We are very glad to see support for a very important scheme for the travelling public, which will also bring big benefits to business.

“This is also very important to UK civil engineering as it provides a large part of future workloads over the next seven years.

BBC video of interview with Philip Hammond

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