London is set to pay “more than its fair share” for Crossrail according to a new report published by the London Assembly Transport Committee.
During its investigations, the committee heard evidence that central government will earn “around £22 billion over ten years” in extra tax revenue, yet is providing just £8 billion towards the scheme’s £15.9 billion funding package with London providing £7.8 billion future fares and a supplement on business rates.
The report – Light at the end of the tunnel: The construction of Crossrail, – also questions why, with 8 of the scheme’s 37 stations outside the Greater London Authority boundary, those areas have been exempted from contributing to the scheme’s costs.
In a key recommendation the committee says, in the event that additional funding is needed, consideration should be given “to extending a Crossrail levy to local authorities on the route outside the GLA boundary.”
The committee also expressed concerns at the way in which compulsory purchases of land and property are being conducted. One company subject to a compulsory purchase order accused Crossrail of “playing hardball” and offering only a “fraction” of moving costs, although Crossrail disputes accusations of bad behaviour and insists it complies with all guidelines and codes of practice governing compulsory purchases.
Launching the report, Caroline Pidgeon AM, Chair of the Transport Committee, said: “London badly needs the extra capacity and economic benefits Crossrail will bring, so political momentum must be maintained over the coming years to ensure the project is delivered.
“Disruption and displacement are inevitable consequences of building a new rail link through central London, but Crossrail’s initial dealings with displaced businesses and residents have been very disappointing. We hope they have learned lessons from these early experiences.”
The report will be formally agreed by the Transport Committee at their 2nd March meeting.
The full report, Light at the end of the tunnel: The construction of Crossrail, is available to download from the london.gov.uk website.