Whitehall steps in with loan finance to keep Crossrail on track

26 Oct 18

London’s troubled Crossrail project will receive a £350m bailout from central government to maintain “full momentum”.

Part of the Crossrail network, to be called the Elizabeth line, was due to start running  December but this has been delayed until next autumn.

Announcing the bailout in a written statement to Parliament, transport minister Jo Johnson said: “As an interim measure, we are announcing that £350m of short-term repayable financing will be made available to the [London] mayor for the year 2018-19.

“This will ensure that full momentum is maintained behind Crossrail”.

The cash injection will add to the £15.4bn total cost of the project and also add to Transport for London’s considerable deficit, which stood at close to £1bn in February.

Johnson added: “Discussions between TfL and government are underway as to how any additional funding will be provided, with London – as the primary beneficiary of Crossrail – bearing any additional costs via a financing arrangement.”

When open, Cross is expected to carry up to 200 million passengers each year, delivering £42bn of investment to the UK economy.

Mike Brown, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “The confirmation of an interim financing package between the government and the Mayor of London will enable Crossrail Ltd to continue its construction work and vital testing at pace to open the Elizabeth line to passengers as quickly as possible.

“The funding will go towards Crossrail Ltd completing the final fit out of the tunnels, work on stations and the extensive safety and reliability testing needed for the new systems.”

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