Crossrail, Thameslink Could Be Hit By Funding Gap

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 105 months ago
Crossrail, Thameslink Could Be Hit By Funding Gap

0207_crossrail.jpg
Canary Wharf Crossrail station
Could the Crossrail toothpaste yet be squeezed back into the tube? Despite the signing of the Royal Assent, despite the work already underway at various locations, despite even the tunnelling academy, the financial concerns that have plagued Crossrail throughout have not yet gone away.

Yesterday's nationalisation (if only temporarily) of the East Coast mainline has added to what is now a £30 billion gap in funding for road and rail. A leaked Department for Transport memo revealed that major projects could be delayed or even cancelled, and two conspicuous names on the list are the Thameslink upgrade and Crossrail.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis promised that governmental commitments to Crossrail would be kept, but in truth less than a year from now he's not likely to be the one calling the shots. With a Conservative government seemingly inevitable, all bets are off when it comes to transport budgets, and contractors on the project are already bracing for the worst should the Tories bumrush Downing Street.

As expected, our Mayor, keen Tory that he is, should prove something of a bellweather for how a Conservative administration deals with it. Boris has remained upbeat, describing it as a "cracking deal" last year. But faced with an incoming government of his mates and muckers, would he keep the pedal to the metal as much as his predecessor, particularly given the other tube funding issues he has to deal with?

Last Updated 02 July 2009