Ministers have been urged to publicly re-affirm their support for Crossrail 2 following reports that the project could be significantly delayed.
The £31bn project would link Cheshunt in Hertfordshire to Epsom in Surrey, passing through Clapham Junction, Victoria and Tottenham Court Road and was originally billed as opening in around 2030.
However, earlier this week the Financial Times revealed that it could be “delayed by a decade, to the 2040s” in order to allow the necessary funding, half of which is to be provided by Transport for London and City Hall, to be raised.
The paper’s report, which is based on a TfL briefing document dating back to March, comes just weeks after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Mayor Sadiq Khan declared their support for the scheme.
Today Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, which represents UK-based rail suppliers, said speculation about Crossrail 2’s future “does not help in making the case for this important scheme, especially at a time when the Government is looking for an infrastructure boost post Brexit.”
He added: “The Railway Industry Association and its members believe that schemes like Crossrail 2 in the south and Northern Powerhouse Rail in the north will provide a huge fillip for the UK, securing economic and connectivity benefits for the whole of the UK.
“Rail suppliers from all parts of the country stand ready to deliver Crossrail 2, giving a welcome boost to jobs and productivity. The Government should re-affirm its support for the project and green light the next stage of public consultation as soon as possible.”