Scale of expenditure by next election makes cancelling Crossrail less attractive to an incoming government

The chances of an incoming government cancelling the Crossrail link have been lessened by reports that as much as £3bn will have been spent on it by the next general election.

In a speech at last week’s Conservative party conference,Terry Morgan, the chairman of Crossrail, said: “Infrastructure investment is by its nature long term … For a project that has been 10 years in thinking and planning in terms of that investment, we have to see it through.”

After the speech he explained that that investment would amount to “between £2bn and £3bn” by the election, which must be held before 3 June next year.

The Conservative party has refused to confirm that the project will continue if they are returned to power. Their position has remained that they will review all major programmes.

London mayor Boris Johnson is among those who have urged the party to commit itself to the scheme. Speaking at the conference in Manchester, he said: “Do not drop the investment that is essential to the UK economy. Cut the babysitting monitors, but do not cut Crossrail.”

Teresa Villiers, shadow transport secretary, did not mentioned Crossrail at all in her speech to the conference.