Transport secretary and mayor of London Sadiq Khan met to discuss £31bn project

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling wants London to fund half of Crossrail 2’s £31bn construction cost.

He also indicated a fresh consultation on the scheme would be launched, once an agreement is reached on how to fund the project.

A Department for Transport statement said Grayling and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had “a productive meeting” to discuss Crossrail 2.

It added: “While London has shown how it could pay for half of the scheme over its life, ‎the Mayor and Transport Secretary want to see how London could fund half of the scheme during construction.”

They have agreed to examine ways to improve the scheme’s affordability ahead of this autumn’s budget.

Grayling said: “I am a supporter of Crossrail 2 but given its price tag we have to ensure that we get this right. The Mayor and I have agreed to work together on it over the coming months to develop plans that are as strong as possible, so that the public gets an affordable scheme that is fair to the UK taxpayer.

“Following a successful outcome being reached, I am keen to launch a fresh public consultation to help gather views to improve the scheme and clarify the position around the safeguarded route.”

Khan added: “Crossrail 2 is essential for the future prosperity of London and the south-east, so I’m pleased that the Transport Secretary and I have reached an agreement to take this vital project forward. We will continue to work together to ensure the project is value for money and provides the maximum benefits for jobs and growth in the region over the coming decades. I look forward to moving to the next stage of consultation.”

Earlier this month, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss was given the ministerial brief for Crossrail 2.

Mayors of northern cities have expressed anger that more money is being invested in London at the expense of rail modernisation programmes eslewhere in the UK.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “People here have had to put up with sub-standard rail services for decades.

“It will not escape people’s notice that this commitment to London comes just days after the transport secretary cancelled electrification schemes all over the country.”