London mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed the launch of an independent affordability review into Crossrail 2, saying it reaffirms the government's commitment to the £31bn project.
The Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) said late last year that they were working together on the review, raising concerns that the project which would serve stations throughout the south east would be beset by further delays.
Former managing director of Thames Tideway Tunnel Mike Gerrard has agreed to lead the review, ensuring the public gets an affordable scheme that is fair to the UK taxpayer.
Khan said: “I’m pleased that the government has reaffirmed its commitment to Crossrail 2 and am happy to endorse Mike Gerrard as the chair of the independent affordability review. There’s no doubt that this project is essential for the future prosperity of London, the south east and our country so it’s vital we continue to progress with it. Only through Crossrail 2 can we ensure our future transport network is fit for purpose and provide a huge boost to the UK’s economy with hundreds of thousands of much-needed jobs and homes.”
Speaking at a conference in Leeds over the weekend, transport secretary Chris Grayling also said he expected £3bn programme of upgrades to the Transpennine route to begin from spring 2019.
Grayling said he will work with local authorities along the Transpennine route to discuss how to maximise the benefits of the £3 billion investment, such as creating new stations to increase access to the railway and finding opportunities for housing development.