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Funding package could clear the way for Crossrail 2

Business group London First has said that the £15bn London must find to cover half the cost of Crossrail 2 can be delivered through hikes to fares, council tax, business rates and property value uplift.

London First said it has support of 200 businesses across the capital and has put forward a report setting out the funding plan.

The Paying for Crossrail 2 analysis estimates that London needs to find around £200M a year during construction to support additional borrowing and help meet its share of the up-front costs.

The analysis sates that a 1% price rise on Transport for London services would generate around £30M a year and council tax rises of less than £1 a week on homes in London could raise another £150M a year. Supplements on districts with a Crossrail 2 station outside of London boroughs would contribute a further £8.5M.

“We need to step up planning for long-term investment in the UK’s infrastructure and it’s clear that London has to pay its way,” said London First chief executive Jasmine Whitbread. “This means London’s commuters, businesses and residents will have to put their hands in their pockets to see the benefits of better and quicker journeys, and more homes being built along the route.

“What we need now is for the mayor and government to strain every sinew to get costs down and ensure tax and fare rises are a last resort, rather than the easiest option. This means learning from the experience of Crossrail 1 to save money when building tunnels and stations, using private finance for new trains and considering the sale of existing assets, like the Crossrail tunnel itself to free up funds.

“Crossrail is an amazing achievement and shows what can be done when business and government work together. Finding the money for Crossrail 2 is a big challenge, but one London can rise to. We now need government to commit to Crossrail 2 at the upcoming budget, and that means giving the green light to consult on the route, as part of a UK-wide infrastructure programme including Northern Powerhouse Rail. As Brexit approaches, we can’t afford to stand still on investing in the infrastructure the UK so clearly needs.”

 

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