Building has obtained Transport Secretary letter that casts fresh doubts over whether Crossrail will be scaled down

Philip Hammond was responding to questions put by his Labour counterpart, former transport minister Sadiq Khan, over the future of funding for stations and spurs on the line.

Hammond’s letter refused to rule out cuts to scope and referred to “contingency options” being examined.

However, a source close to the project said that discussions were currently focusing not on reducing scope, but on how to change the profile of the construction programme so government spending can be deferred to later years.

Hammond said he had “no plans to change the scope of the project” on a site visit to Canary Wharf station last month.

In May, Building reported Crossrail had been asked to draw up plans to cut costs, and was understood to be considering whether to scrap stations or spurs to the east and west of London.

A statement from the Department for Transport said: “No decisions have been taken to change the scope of the project.”

In a separate development, Transport Minister Theresa Villiers today visited Farringdon Station, set to become a Crossrail and Thameslink hub by 2017.

She said:  “With the completion of the Crossrail and Thameslink programmes, passengers can look forward to better, faster journeys from a station set to become the busiest in Britain.”

Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme Director Jim Crawford added:

“London relies on rail to get hundreds of thousands of people to work each day, so I’m pleased to say our work at Farringdon is on time and on budget.”