Transport secretary Chris Grayling says he'll do all he can to make Crossrail 2 work ahead of crunch talks with London mayor

 
Rebecca Smith
Grayling's department was given the business case and funding plan for Crossrail 2 in March
Grayling's department was given the business case and funding plan for Crossrail 2 in March (Source: Getty)

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has said he will do everything he can to make Crossrail 2 work, despite concerns that Transport for London's (TfL) funding package for the £31bn project hadn't "lived up to initial promises".

During yesterday's parliamentary questions, he was posed a question by the Labour MP for Cambridge Daniel Zeichner, who asked about Crossrail 2's omission from the Conservative manifesto, and when a decision would be made on TfL's business case and funding proposals.

Read more: Whitehall feud over Crossrail 2: Ministers slam TfL plan for £31bn route

Grayling said:

Firstly I absolutely support the need for the capacity improvements that Crossrail 2 will bring to London, and indeed not just to London; to areas outside.

We are working our way through the business case; I don't think it's any secret that the TfL funding package hasn't quite lived up to initial promises but I want this to work, I'm seeing the mayor next week, and we'll do everything we can to make it work.

It is the second boost to Crossrail 2 proponents over the past week, after Treasury minister Liz Truss had the rail project added to her responsibilities when portfolios were updated last week.

The General Election had pushed back the prospective timeline for Crossrail 2, while speculation over the project's future grew with its omission from the Conservative manifesto and Queen's speech.

Read more: These are the UK's 12 most pressing infrastructure projects

The funding proposals have also been a key sticking point. While TfL has said London can provide half the costs for the project, the Department for Transport wanted the capital to demonstrate it can foot half the cost during construction. Many of the initially floated proposals would only be retrievable once Crossrail 2 is up and running.

The proposed Crossrail 2 route would be tunnelled from New Southgate and Tottenham Hale in the north, to Wimbledon in the south, providing an interchange with other London Underground, Overground and rail services.

TfL has said it's necessary to ease the surge expected in crowding on public transport, and will unlock the construction of 200,000 homes, as well as 200,000 extra jobs in the region due to the increase in transport capacity.

Crossrail 2: Key facts
  • Projected cost of £31.2bn
  • Support 200,000 jobs across London and the South East once operational
  • Unlock construction of up to 200,000 new homes
  • Increase the capital's rail capacity by 10 per cent
  • Provide up to 30 trains per hour to destinations across London, Hertfordshire and Surrey
  • Bring 800 stations across the UK within one interchange
  • Target reduction of overcrowding on busiest parts of the Underground and at London Waterloo
  • Provide step-free access at all stations along the route

Read more: Crossrail 2: TfL's latest revised route scraps Kings Road Chelsea station

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