Hilfe & Kontakt

Crossrail - Money Talks?

Von: Mwmbwls (robertg.robinson@virgin.net) [Profil]
Datum: 05.06.2010 15:05
Message-ID: <41bf9980-940a-4211-9061-5d7ebc25c56a@i31g2000yqm.googlegroups.com>
Newsgroup: uk.railway
Crossrail backers threaten to axe funding if project is diluted


Joe Murphy, writing in the Evening Standard
London businesses today delivered a stern "hands off" warning on
Crossrail, telling ministers they may withdraw funding if the rail
scheme is spoiled by cutbacks.


Ms Villiers told MPs that "no decisions have been taken to change the
scope of the project". But her words were interpreted by business
leaders as clearly leaving the door open to such cuts in the
Government's root-and-branch review of spending.
Within minutes business group London First warned of increasing
concern among the big City firms who have pledged to pour billions
into the scheme.
"If business is not consulted, or the scheme becomes unrecognisable,
don't count on continued business support," said Jo Valentine, chief
executive of London First.
Crossrail promises to carry 1.5million workers to the heart of London
by adding stations and new lines to unclog the city's arteries.
But industry sources claim ministers are considering slashing up to
£5billion from the overall budget by axing central London stations or
chopping the branch lines to Maidenhead in the west and Abbey Wood in
the east.
Businesses are contributing £3.5billion to the scheme, and say they
are being kept in the dark about its future.
Lady Valentine said firms understood the need for efficiency savings
but warned: "The deal [on funding] was always contingent on the
project delivering on its promises."
In the Commons, Ms Villiers criticised "speculation and scare stories"
about cutbacks and told MPs: "Crossrail is under way, it is happening,
it is being built. Spades are in the ground."
The debate was called by London MPs led by former London minister Nick
Raynsford, who said: "Crossrail is vital to London and the wider
economy. So much work has gone into the scheme already that it would
be a tragedy if its continuation were to be questioned."
Conservative MP Mark Field said: "We are beyond the point of no
return. The central government sum to be spent from this point on is
very small in the scheme of things."
New Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told the Evening Standard last
week: "Our challenge is to deliver Crossrail as it was designed at the
lowest possible cost." He implied that efficiency savings rather than
cuts to lines and stations were being looked at.

In the event of the current financing arrangements for Crossrail
falling apart - is there ever going to be a realistic prospect of
being able to put another such group together on this or any future

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