Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has asked City Hall to investigate whether the capital is able to fund half of Crossrail 2’s construction costs before considering whether to approve the scheme.
If built, the rail link would connect Cheshunt in Hertfordshire to Epsom in Surrey, passing through Clapham Junction, Victoria and Tottenham Court Road, and slash journey times for passengers.
The scheme would also support the building of up to 200,000 new homes and the creation of thousands of new jobs, both of which are needed to meet the needs of London’s growing population.
Although the project is backed by all political parties at City Hall, work cannot begin unless ministers give their consent.
Transport for London has already worked with Mayor Sadiq Khan and predecessor Boris Johnson, plus business groups, to show how London could fund half of the scheme over its lifetime.
However Mr Grayling has now asked the agency to see whether it can fund 50 per cent of the upfront construction costs in a bid to find “a funding package which works for both London and the rest of the country and recognises other priorities.”
Grayling made the request last week when he meet with Mayor Khan and transport deputy Val Shawcross to discuss the capital’s transport needs.
News of the request for a revised funding package came in a joint City Hall / Department for Transport statement.
Mr 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.”
Mayor 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.”