London's mayor said today he was "quietly confident" that revised funding plans for Crossrail 2 will be green lit, despite the "onerous" challenge set by government for the capital to meet half the cost during construction.
The Crossrail 2 team has submitted its revised funding proposals to meet the government's request that London meet half of the project's £31bn bill during construction, and expects these plans to get the nod in the upcoming Autumn Budget later this month to keep Crossrail 2's timeline on track.
"I've been reassured by the noises coming from government," Sadiq Khan told City A.M.. "One of the asks the government made of us was to pay for half the costs of Crossrail 2 in real time, so not simply paying it after the event, but paying during the course of construction. We think that's onerous and difficult, but we're trying to meet the needs of the government."
"We submitted an original plan paying half the costs afterwards, and the government moved the goalposts, and we've tried to address their new ask by submitting a new business plan which meets half the costs during construction, and we're quietly confident that addresses the ask government's given us, and we're looking forward to government again confirming their support for Crossrail 2," he added.
In July, transport secretary Chris Grayling said he was a supporter of the project, "but given its price tag we have to ensure that we get this right".
Transport for London's commissioner Mike Brown told City A.M. today that the Crossrail 2 team has assessed how to phase the project in order to meet the government's request.
He said: "We've looked at the way you construct this, so what cash you have to spend at different stages of construction to ensure that you don't have to pay everything upfront for the whole scheme all at once. So what you do is you pay enough money to get certain sections of it delivered first of all, and then you pay some more further on."
"If logic prevails, then they should give us the green light to start going through the parliamentary process for approval to get this thing open by the 2030s when it's needed," Brown added.
A DfT spokesperson said: "We need to ensure the public gets an affordable scheme that is fair to the UK taxpayer, and this includes developing and agreeing a funding package which works for both London and the rest of the country.
"A thorough analysis of the business case and TfL’s updated funding plan is being carried out by the department to ensure Crossrail 2 is a robust scheme, as with all transport proposals."