BCO London: The proposed £30bn line will see half of its funding provided by London
Progress on bringing London’s £30bn Crossrail 2 project to life has been delayed by the upcoming general election, according to one of the senior figures working on the project.
William Jackson, a development consultant at Crossrail 2, told the BCO conference in London that the mega project’s business case, which was submitted to central government in March, was now unlikely to be approved until the autumn, and could come as late as next year.
Speaking during a panel debate chaired by developer Sir Stuart Lipton, Jackson said: “They announced a general election which was a bit of a blow. So the approval of the [business case] is likely to be either in the autumn of this year or January of next year. So it’s been delayed by the general election.”
Jackson, who is a former partner at estate agent Cushman & Wakefield, is working on the proposed line’s property strategy. If Crossrail 2 is approved, the line between South-west and North-east London is expected to spur the development of up to 200,000 homes along the route.
Crossrail 2 hopes to be able to pull together a funding and finance package for the scheme by 2020, ahead of a hybrid bill going before parliament and achieving royal assent in mid-2023. The first trains are expected to run on the line by 2035.
But financing the £30bn new line is unlikely to be straightforward. London is expected to cover over half of the cost, with central government picking up the rest of the tab. The London part could be raised in a similar way to Crossrail, now known as the Elizabeth Line, using a combination of community infrastructure levy, business rate supplements and property development, but Jackson warned “it’s not sufficient”.
“We need to find new ways to fund infrastructure or reduce the cost by excluding stations which doesn’t seem to be a very sensible idea,” he added.