Thursday, July 12, 2007

Prime Minister spikes Crossrail

Whilst we don't really do the Parliamentary stuff when it comes to Crossrail it's difficult not too. Crossrail, as everyone probably knows, is a project that's been talked about for over a decade and every now and then the Council reminds us how much closer it is getting.

The Evening Standard has been running a campaign to get Gordon Brown - when he was Chancellor - to sign off the cash for it. It never happened. Now he's Prime Minister it is Alistair Darling's problem, assuming all the talk of 'control-freakery' by Brown is wrong.

Yesterday, Gordon Brown announced what his legislative programme would be in the next Parliament, and it included the Crossrail Bill. This might sound promising but it is not a bill about funding, but merely the bill that will confer legal status on the project.

What does this mean for the decision about funding? It means it's been kicked into the long grass and spiked. Until the Crossrail Bill passes there is no need to worry about making the necessary funding decisions required to plug the well-documented shortfalls across the project.

If the Olympic budget continues to spiral out of control then the pressure to spike it further will become greater too. And we can't forget about the fact the Bill - and the Select Committee over-seeing it - is bogged down in legal hyperbole. Basically don't expect a decision any time soon.



Blogger Inspector Sands said...

Did anyone really expect it'd get cash from the Government?

The Gordon Brown/Ken relationship will be interesting over the next few years.

But since Greenwich Council has publicly assumed Crossrail is a done deal, heaven knows what will happen now.

2:57 am  
Blogger Bentos said...

It almost makes you wish for a dictatorship that would push a big transport project like this through.

10:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldnt be surprised if CrossRail actually gets the go ahead. Livingstone will pay a bulk of the cost through new business tax powers he will be given in the Local Government Bill. Watch this space....

10:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This could easily be funded by the proceeds from Greenwich congestion charging. .....

6:16 pm  

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