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Crossrail’s funding crisis sparks fears of rise in rail fares

Crossrail faces an estimated ?500m funding black hole as the Government struggles to keep the country’s most ambitious rail project on track in its final stages.
With a budget of nearly ?15bn, it is already one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects. It is understood the final cost is due to rise further, however, as unexpected problems have forced unscheduled engineering.
At Paddington, for instance, a pedestrian tunnel had to be dug to allow Crossrail passengers to reach other tube lines without crossing the station concourse, a rail industry insider said. The work had not been included in the original plans.
In June last year, Paul Maynard, the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, told Parliament that Crossrail’s board was predicting it would be within the overall ?14.8bn budget but that “cost pressures are increasing across the project”.
In numbers | Crossrail
He added Crossrail was “identifying and implementing initiatives to deliver cost efficiencies until completion”.
A Government source said a contingency fund was available for Crossrail but the size of this pot of cash wasn’t near the estimated ?500m overspend, first reported by The Sunday Times.
Any funding shortfall beyond what central Government is willing cover is likely to spark fears of fare rises or other tax increases for Londoners.
Last week, The Daily Telegraph reported that home owners living within a certain radius of planned Crossrail 2 stations could be forced to stump up millions to pay for the ?30bn follow-up scheme.
Crossrail’s funding crisis sparks fears of rise in rail fares

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will update the House of Commons on the progress of the Crossrail scheme next month

Credit:
PA
The next major expansion of London’s underground network is due to run through central London, between Broxbourne in Herts and Epsom in Surrey.
Transport for London is considering a levy which would create three zones stretching a kilometre around each station known as the Transport Property Charge. 
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