Since May there have been suggestions that the UK’s coalition government might wish to “descope” the project and there were suggestions that the Abbey Wood and Maidenhead branches of the scheme might not go-ahead.
Such concerns have prompted London business and political leaders to lobby ministers.
Speaking in June Mayor of London Boris Johnson told members of the London Assembly that to “descope” the project would be “folly”.
Addressing the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in July the Mayor warned cuts to schemes such as Crossrail would be “a false economy” which would damage the economic prospects of both the capital and wider UK. The Mayor said the longer it took to complete Crossrail “the more it will cost and the less competitive our great city will be.”
In June London First Chief Executive Baroness Jo Valentine warned that any short term savings made from spending cuts imposed by the Government would cut scheme’s the economic benefits.
Speaking at the time Baroness Valentine said: “We must, of course, continue to drive efficiency savings whilst maintaining the increases in capacity and opportunity this scheme offers. But the deal with the Government for the business community to contribute a large part of the costs was always contingent on the project delivering on its promises. If business is not consulted, or the scheme becomes unrecognisable, don’t count on continued business support.”
In a statement issued today Crossrail said the company would be looking to reduce the scheme’s costs without “reducing the scope of planned Crossrail services between Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, or removing stations”.
Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan said it was “critical that every pound invested in this vital scheme achieves maximum value for money” and that “sensible efficiency savings will be made at every opportunity.”
The company also set out examples of how it had been able to reduce costs, including a redesign of Whitechapel station which it said would “deliver a far better station for passengers” while saving £30m.
It has also been announced that the service’s trains will be “based on tried and tested designs” rather than a new design specific for the scheme.