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Crossrail 2: Treasury allocates planning funds

The Treasury’s spending round for the next financial year contains a £6m allocation to the Department for Transport to develop plans for Crossrail 2, Construction News can reveal.

In his announcement earlier this month, the chancellor Sajid Javid said the DfT was to receive “continued support for the development of major transport projects” including Northern Powerhouse Rail and the East-West rail link from Oxford to Cambridge.

CN understands that the funding also includes cash the transport ministry had requested in order to plan how to develop the proposed cross-London rail link, running from Surrey to Hertfordshire.

Mr Javid promised an “infrastructure revolution” in his spending round speech to parliament a fortnight ago, however plans for Crossrail 2 are dependent on agreements between co-sponsors TfL and DfT being worked out.

A confirmed route plan and funding package are among outstanding issues to be decided.

Late last year, TfL announced it would be forced to dip into funds from its business rate supplement and mayoral community infrastructure levy for the first and current Crossrail project, despite the case already having been earmarked to help pay for Crossrail 2.

Spending round funding is allocated for the financial year 2020/21, with the DfT receiving £4.1bn overall, up from £3.7bn this year.

Crossrail 2’s scheduled timeline includes plans to submit a bill to parliament in 2021/22.

An updated strategic outline business case was submitted by TfL to the government in June and is currently being assessed by a team at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

TfL managing director for Crossrail 2 Michele Dix said: “We are pleased to receive confirmation that DfT has committed £6m of development monies for Crossrail 2 in the spending round for 2020/21.

“We submitted the fifth Crossrail 2 strategic outline business case in the summer and we now await confirmation of next steps from the government.

“We will continue to work closely with them on proposals whilst developing long-term funding strategies.”

A DfT spokeswoman said the department was unable to comment on the amounts received for each project but a source noted the funding would be made available after agreement with TfL on “a positive way forward for the project”.

Conservative candidate for mayor of London Shaun Bailey said: “It is encouraging to see central government endorsing Crossrail 2, a project that will unlock more and much-needed housing in London.

“It’s now incumbent on the mayor to show how he will get Crossrail 1 over the line and get TfL’s shattered finances in order so the government can move ahead on Crossrail 2 with confidence.”

A spokesman for London mayor Sadiq Khan said TfL is waiting for the government to confirm the next steps.

He added: “With London’s growing population, the mayor believes Crossrail 2 is essential for our future prosperity.

“It will boost the UK economy by billions of pounds and importantly tackle the chronic levels of overcrowding that could develop on London’s tube network and rail network over the coming decades if no action is taken, even after the opening of Crossrail.”

In the spending round announcement, chancellor Sajid Javid said that “the first priority of our new economic plan will be to rebuild our national infrastructure”.

But he added that most of the details of what the work would entail would be announced in the national infrastructure strategy later this year.

In April, Crossrail 2 head of commercial Simon Adams said more time would be spent on the design phase of the project to avoid the delays and cost overruns suffered by the first Crossrail scheme.

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