Mayor of London Boris Johnson and business leaders including Morgan Sindall, Mace and T&T CEOs urge government to crack on with project

Crossrail TBM being lowered into shaft

Crossrail 2 has urged chancellor George Osborne to inject a further £250m into the scheme as part of the government’s autumn spending review, to enable it work up more detailed designs and achieve planning permission.

Michelle Dix, Crossrail 2 managing director, told an event in London this morning that the fledgling client required the cash to keep the project on track, with construction expected to start in 2020 and the line to become fully operational by 2030.

She made the call at an event to launch a new Crossrail 2 ‘Growth Commission’ that will build an economic case for committing to the infrastructure project.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson told the event: “They will say that you can delay it, you can put it off, that it’s not necessary, there are other things that you can do, there are other short-term measures you can put in that don’t involve this large capital expenditure. And they will be completely wrong if they say that.”

It comes as several business leaders signed an open letter organised by London First calling on Osborne to use the comprehensive spending review this autumn to “provide the development funding necessary to design Crossrail 2 so that trains can start running by 2030.”

Signatories on the letter include Morgan Sindall chief executive John Morgan, Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds, Turner and Townsend chief executive Vincent Clancy and HS1 chairman Rob Holden.

In her speech this morning, Dix said the £27bn project was of “national significance” and called on industry figures to support it “to get this thing off the paper and into the ground.”

She added that the project will open up development for 200,000 new homes, and provide around “£100bn GVA (gross value added) to the Exchequer.”

Dix also said the project had “enormous public support” and that despite the cost, “Londoners will want to pay for this.”

The Crossrail 2 Growth Commission will examine how the project can boost economic growth both in London and across the country.

Led by Sir Merrick Cockell, former chairman of the Local Government Association, the commission is expected to be set up within a month and will report its findings by spring next year.

Crossrail 2 is expected to create up to 200,000 new jobs during construction, including 60,000 jobs in the supply chain outside London.

Running from the southwest to the northeast of London, Crossrail 2 is expected to add 10% to the capital’s rail capacity.

Crossrail 2 will be funded through business rates, the community infrastructure levy, net revenues, resale of land and property, and council tax precepts.